Mckenna Breton trains for military success


courtesy of Mckenna Breton

Mckenna Breton stands next to her fellow Junior Sea Cadets. Breton has been part of this program for two years.

Maggie Sweeney, editor in chief

While most students go through high school studying and playing sports, senior Mckenna Breton has been training in the Junior Sea Cadets for two years and has been working rigorously to achieve a high ranking in the program.

Junior Sea Cadets is a non-profit program for boys and girls between age 11 and 17 who get to train with armed forces and become stronger mentally and physically.

“It’s a two year program where you basically work at receiving the title of E3 which enables you to go into the military with higher pay and earlier advancement,” Breton said.

Joining this program was an easy decision for Breton as she saw herself in that position early on.

“I was originally interested in joining ROTC, but that’s changed since then,” Breton said. “I chose Junior Sea Cadets instead because it looks really good on college applications, plus it’s also a lot of fun.”

Breton faced challenges, but was able to overcome them and come out stronger because of the program. Recently, she tore her ACL while playing lacrosse which led to a tough year of surgery and physical therapy.

“When I initially tore my ACL, it became difficult to continue with the program,” Brenton said. “But i started to get back involved when I got my brace so it didn’t really stop me much. And it was really nice having all the guys support me. Its like having 20 little brothers.”

After joining Junior Sea Cadets in her junior year, Breton noticed a significant change in her personality and strength.

“I was kind of insecure at first, but going through all the training has made me a lot more confident with myself,” Breton said. “The mental training helped me a lot because you have to uphold to military standards which is very strict.”

The program has also played a role in her school and sports life while some of her friends have noticed it to be a big impact.

“She is very strong on the lacrosse field in all aspects,” senior and teammate Katie Beyer said. “I wasn’t really expecting her to be so strong after being out for a year, but her military training definitely seemed to help her strength and recovery.”

Though she is not as keen on joining the military as she was in the beginning, there is always a possibility for her in case she changes her mind.

“I’m going to the University of Arizona next year,” Breton said. “But I reached the E3 ranking so if I choose to go into the military, they would pay for my tuition, but it’s still kind of up in the air for me.”

Her experience in the program has left her with immense respect for the US Navy as well as unforgettable memories.

“I recently graduated this past February, but I can’t wait to see where some of my shipmates go in their life,” Breton said. “Participating in Junior Sea Cadets has made me realize how hard the military works and I definitely have long lasting respect for our troops.”