The N.J.R.O.T.C. Program at Riverhead High School began in 1974 as a satellite unit from Southold High School. In 1976, the Riverhead N.J.R.O.T.C. received its own charter and broke away from Southold. In 39 years of existence, the Riverhead N.J.R.O.T.C. Unit has become well known throughout the ten northeastern states of area four. The unit promotes leadership development, self-discipline, physical fitness, teamwork and community service. Cadets participate in a variety of activities such as drill competitions, air rifle, physical fitness outings, community service, military orientation trips, and social events such as the annual military ball. The unit has earned numerous unit and individual citations, awards, and trophies at area and national armed and unarmed drill, academic and athletic competitions. Riverhead High School N.J.R.O.T.C. has earned the Chief of Naval Education and Training (CNET) Distinguished High School unit award for 2001/2002 and 2002/2003. Riverhead N.J.R.O.T.C. has also won the CNET Unit Achievement Award in 2009/2010 and 2010/2011; as well as being named as the most improved unit in the area and 3rd most improved in the nation for school year 2004/2005. Our unit has earned the Distinguished Unit Award for being one of the top 11 out of 52 schools in Area 4 for the years 2005/2006 and 2006/2007.The unit has recently won Distinguished unit award for the years of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.