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Second RHS NJROTC cadet captures Navy scholarship

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Riverhead High School senior Brian Weinhardt has been awarded a $180,000 Navy scholarship to the college of his choice.

Brian, an NJROTC Cadet Lieutenant Jr. Grade and the operations officer of the Riverhead High School unit is the second NJROTC officer this month to be notified of earning a $180,000 Navy scholarship. On Dec. 7, NJROTC Cadet Lieutenant Amanda Gallo was named the first recipient in the 2012 senior graduating class. She was selected by U.S. Navy Commander John Skarin, among six cadets in the N.Y.-N.J. district under his command.

Additional scholarships, including the one awarded to Brian, are determined by a national board.

As the unit’s operations officer, Brian coordinates all the events and trips that the cadets participate in throughout the year. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the French Foreign Language Honor Society, the Outdoors Club, and is the “number one” golfer on the Varsity Golf Team. He is an AP Scholar and an honor roll student with a 97.39 grade point average. In addition to being in ROTC, Brian is nearing fulfillment of the requirements for becoming an Eagle Scout.

His completed Eagle Scout project was refurbishing the exterior of the Baiting Hollow Library.

“There was only a handful of applicants that were Eagle Scouts, and I think that helped me get the scholarship,” Brian said.

“Brian has been a really committed, hardworking cadet for four years,” Riverhead High School NJROTC Commander Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy. “He is the mainstay on the unit’s academic team and is on both the armed and unarmed drill teams.”

After college graduation, Brian will enter the Navy as an Ensign.

His top college choices are the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and George Washington University. He plans to major in aerospace engineering and then law. He ultimately wants to become a “JAG” in the Navy.

“I knew as a freshman that this is what I wanted to do, and I’m very excited that it’s all going to happen as I hoped it would,”

Brian said.