The North Fork’s Navy Junior ROTC is No. 1 .
After winning the Northeast Regional top unit award for five years in a row, Mattituck-Southold-Greenport Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps won the top honor this year by besting all other units in the country along with a few in other nations.
“It’s a dream come true, not only for the three instructors, but the kids,” said Maj. Bill Grigonis, who was a cadet with the unit when he was in Southold High School. “They worked so hard.”
Three cadets took individual awards in the Northeast competition: Seniors Kim Krupski of Cutchogue, Billy Goggins of Laurel and Kevin Reyer of Mattituck were first, second and third, respectively.
The North Fork’s Navy Junior ROTC has 263 cadets and is expecting to have 306 next school year. The program has four other Long Island units: Riverhead, Freeport, William Floyd and Westbury, Grigonis said.
The award criteria are community service, formal inspections, drills and academics. In recent years, the North Fork unit has been involved in the Group to Save Goldsmith Inlet, clearing out about 80 tons of large debris — such as hulls of boats and broken telephone poles — to help get the water moving again.