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High-ranking Navy Admiral visits Chapin High school

Chapin, SC - “Dream big, work hard and never quit” was the message given to students at Chapin High School by one of the Navy’s highest ranking officials.

Rear Admiral Cedric Pringle spoke to NJROTC students on Monday, November 12. Pringle is on a tour to engage with multiple NROTC units throughout the southeast during his ROTC and Recruiting Engagement Effort. His plan is to visit five schools and universities in five different cities in five days. Chapin High School was his first stop and the school was chosen by the Navy because of its reputation.

“I am here to give back and sow the seeds of greatness and give them the opportunity to hear what they can accomplish from somebody who has actually been where they are and they can go to my level and beyond,” Pringle said.

Pringle is a South Carolina native. He graduated from Sumter High School and then from the University of South Carolina in December 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Pringle received his commission through Naval ROTC. He also earned a Master of Science in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1988 and a Master of Arts in National Security Strategy from the Naval War College in 2003.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for Chapin High students and faculty to welcome Rear Admiral Cedric E. Pringle and we are honored that Admiral Pringle chose to visit us,” said Chapin High principal Michael Ames. “Chapin has a long history of supporting our military, and our NJROTC is recognized year after year as one of the country's best.”

The Chapin High NJROTC was formed in 1997. Since it began, it has ranked among the best programs in the state and nation. They placed second in the state in 2017 and this year they were the national runner up for the Most Outstanding Unit. They won the title in 2012 after the Department of the Navy evaluated more than 600 programs across the country.

In December 2017, Pringle assumed duties as Commander of the Expeditionary Strike Group 3. The Expeditionary Strike Group is the world’s largest strike group comprised of three amphibious squadrons, eight naval support elements and 15 warships comprised of 15,000 active duty and reserve Sailors and Marines. The mission of the group is to serve as the command element for Marine expeditionary-brigade level expeditionary operations as commander of an amphibious task force.

“I want the students to know that just because you start in South Carolina doesn’t mean you need to limit where you can go.” Pringle said. “One of the things I wanted to do when I joined the Navy was to travel and so far I have visited 76 countries in my 31 years of service. I also wanted to challenge myself and I have done that with experiences and opportunities I have been given while wearing the uniform,” Pringle said.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and service awards. Pringle is also the recipient of the 2015 Navy’s Stars and Stripes Award.

Chapin High junior Caleb Cameron has plans to join the military after he graduates and said hearing from Admiral Pringle was an honor. “It makes me feel special to know that he picked our school out of all the rest. It makes us feel good to know we are accomplishing great things and getting noticed for it,” Cameron said.

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