By Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System

NEW ORLEANS – A new charter high school modeled in the spirit of the U.S. Marine Corps is slated to welcome its first recruits Aug. 9.

The New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy will be the state’s only public high school where every student is required to participate in Marine Corps Junior ROTC.

Students will take courses designed to prepare them for college while also maintaining physical fitness and learning marksmanship with air rifles, school officials said. They will wear a regular school uniform three days out of the week and a Marine Corps-inspired uniform the remaining two.

Dr. Cecilia Garcia, the school’s first principal, said the classes will have a focus on science and technology and encourage students to work together on group projects. NOMMA will be the city’s first high school to offer classes in cyber science and robotics as a result of a partnership with the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, La., and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La., she added. Students will be issued laptops for homework and research.

“[Students] are going to learn things here that they don’t teach at other schools,” said Sylvester Browder, the school sergeant major and a retired Marine himself, explaining that discipline and leadership will be a major part of the school’s philosophy. JROTC instructors will also have a great deal of individual student counseling opportunities with students, he said.

“The extra mentoring and the focus on ethical decision making and being part of a team and being self sufficient; those are all characteristics that are important for all students to learn,” said Garcia.

The school is still accepting students for their first 150-student freshman class. There is no tuition or admission exam. Further grade levels will be added as the first class progresses.

For the 2011-2012 academic year, the academy will be located at the Henderson School on LB Landry Ave. here before moving into their newly renovated Federal City location the following year.

For more information or to download an application, visit