2017 INDUCTEE OF THE MILITARY DRILL HALL OF FAME
LCDR Ken Bingham / Chief Edwin A. Morales (1997) and the Boca Raton H.S. NJROTC Drill Team
Boca Raton H.S. is without parallel the finest Navy JROTC drill & ceremony program in the state of Florida for over 20 years beginning in the mid 1990's and continuing to this day. Taking the reigns the year it opened, LCDR Bingham set the standard right out of the chute accepting no less than 100% commitment to excellence in everything they do. "We Set the Standards" has been the mantra from this 21-year Naval officer who recently retired from thge JROTC program not coincidentally after 21 years at the helm of one of the most well rounded and exceptional JROTC programs hosted anywhere within the 3,500 programs scattered worldwide.
In 1997, the program numbers were climbing but still modest and the hard charging NCO Chief Edwin Morales came into the NJROTC program like a turbo charger helping to immediately propel the team and program to new heights of excellence. Chief Morales sweats every detail and works with the cadets both on and off the drill floor to ensure they become the finest overall citizens possible. His work is very detail oriented and remains the key driver for excellence in the drill program. His knowledge of the military manuals in play for every competition as well as the riules of every meet they attend are exceptional, therefore his competition teams are always well prepared. His results show that hard work PLUS preparation plus dedication are a hard combination for any other program to beat!
After almost 20 years together, this dynamic duo put forth seven state titles within the ultra competitive Florida drill universe and two national titles against the 600+ Navy JROTC programs throughout the world. Scores of nationally recognized scholars, athletes and service academy members blaze a trail of excellence on and off the drill floor, but drill continues to dominate today under the watchful eye of Chief Morales and likely long after he has gone due to the rock solid foundation the program was given under the leadership of these two amaing men.
Since their arrival the Boca Raton NJROTC program's enrollment has increased from just over 100 cadets a year to 365 cadets in the mid 2010's making it one of the largest NJROTC programs in the nation. Their drill proficiency has always led the unit pacing their top finishes with countless BEST OVERALL DRILL performance trophies even in years when they failed to win the overall state title. The NJROTC program has earned the coveted Distinguished Unit designation 19 times and it is considered one of the premier NJROTC programs in the country.
As commanding officer and cadet captain of the unit of more than 300 students, 2015 Boca Raton senior Jake Woods exemplifies the quality cadets produced. "He's (LCDR Bingham) built a program that involved itself so much in the community," Woods said. "We have a very, very big footprint here. His motto is, 'We set the standards,' and when you shoot to be No. 1, you accomplish great things.". Fair winds and following seas to both these amazing men and the cadets whose lives have been forever altered for the better due to their efforts.