Zion-Benton High School Navy JROTC program in Illinois, taught in part by Naval Science Instructor Cmdr. Steve Schulte, a 1978 graduate of Napa High School, has been named the most outstanding unit in the nation this year by the Navy League of the United States, according to the Lake County (Illinois) News-Sun.
The 310-cadet unit was judged on academic performance, community involvement and general administration, according to the newspaper. It was founded in 1994 to educate students on how the military operates and to develop good citizenship, whether the cadets go on to serve in the armed forces or not.
After graduating from Napa High School, Schulte attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, graduating in 1982, according to his biography from the high school. He became a naval aviator and served in a variety of roles in posts throughout the West Coast and Pacific before serving as a catapult and arresting gear officer aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. He later served as executive officer and commanding officer of the Navy recruiting district in Chicago and finally participated in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom from a base in Saudi Arabia.
He has been an instructor for the Zion-Benton High School Navy JROTC since his retirement from the Navy in 2003.
Schulte lives in Lake Bluff, Illinois, with his wife, Judi, also a 1978 Napa High graduate, and their daughter.