North Fork NJROTC tops in the northeast

For the fifth successive year, the Southold-Mattituck-Greenport Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has been named the Area 4 Most Outstanding Unit. The area comprises 52 units in the Northeast, from Maine to Delaware and out to Pittsburgh, Pa.

“Most units and their instructors dream of receiving this distinction once in their career,” said Major William Grigonis, the unit’s leader. “To receive this honor for five years running is a testament to the drive, determination and devotion that the cadets, parents and families, as well as all of the supporters in the North Fork community have in this program,” he said. “Year after year, the kids step up.”

It took all 263 cadets in the corps to earn the award, Maj. Grigonis said. The award is based on the cadets’ academic achievement, community service, physical fitness and ability in drill competitions. The thrust of the program here is more citizenship than military, the major said. The combined unit has consistently produced award-winning cadets who have demonstrated high levels of competency, both individually and as a group, he said.

Not only has the North Fork unit been honored this year as the tops in its area, three unit members also earned the top three spots in the state for cadet of the year. Cadet Battalion Executive Officer Kim Krupski won first place; Cadet Commander Billy Goggins placed second; and Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Reyer took third. All are Mattituck High School seniors.

Ms. Krupski is “a phenomenal young lady” and a wonderful role model for other females in the corps, Maj. Grigonis said. She’s both a great leader and a mentor to the other cadets, he said.

According to the major, Mr. Goggins is wise beyond his years, and people respect him. “He’s always calm and makes the right decisions,” he said.

Mr. Reyer always sets a positive example for younger cadets and is “a phenomenal student,” the unit leader said.
“You dream of having one in the top 10 cadets,” he said. To have three students place at the top statewide, he said, “I was amazed.”

So far, five unit members have received ROTC scholarships and at least one more is pending, Maj. Grigonis said. The five are Kevin Izzo, who will attend the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy; Wilson Quizhpi, who will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Jack Nugent, who will study at SUNY Maritime College; A.J. L’Hommedieu, who won an Army scholarship to Syracuse University; and Mr. Goggins, who earned a Marine Corps scholarship to Holy Cross.

[email protected]