The JROTC program is excited to be heading to their first competition on Oct. 3rd.
The Mitchell competition is the deciding factor of whether or not the JROTC teams go to states or not. The teams are anxious to compete and have been working extremely hard these past school days after school.
The JROTC teams finished third last year at the Mitchell competition, qualifying them for states. Hopefully this year, the students can get first place in the Mitchell Competition and do well at the State competition in March 2016.
“We would obviously like to win first place but most of all I want this to be a learning experience for not only the newest members but also the people that have been on the teams. We had a good run last year placing at every competition we went to but this year we want to do even better,” said commanding officer, Carey Ledee.
This in-it-to-win-it attitude is the biggest motivator for the teams to do well and place first against 13 other schools at the upcoming Mitchell competition. This is the first big step in the line of many things to come for the JROTC teams.
For the competition, there are five drill teams, four athletic teams and one academic team. This shows that many of the JROTC students are participating in teams to head to the competition.
“Attendance at our drill practices… has never been better. 55 to 60 students out there after school and they work for two hours each Monday and Wednesday. So that’s really exciting, to see a lot of folks that are trying to learn what we do,” said Commander Stauffer.
Each team has 10-14 students that are either doing drill, academia, or relays/pushups and sit-ups. The teams are on strict guidelines that they have to follow so that they do not get disqualified from the competition.
“We have a lot of new leaders… stepping up into roles which were vacated by the seniors that left. So they’re learning their jobs, how to be leaders, how to get things done and how to manage a large group of people and bring them together for a common cause,” stated Commander Stauffer.
This competition, and the many more to come, truly help empower and instill what the JROTC program is all about.
“The goal is always better citizenship and part of that I think is the whole leadership/followership thing. If we can produce leaders then we’re making an impact and of course to have good leaders we need followers and those are the first year students. We have a really good group of 100 of them so there’s a lot of followers looking for that leadership,” said Commander Stauffer.
The first year students make up many of the students excited to be participating in the competition for the first time. The students bring a lot of charisma to the teams.
“[The students are] bringing brand new talent to compliment the good and the bad areas,” stated executive officer, Daniel Cheong.
The mixture of competitive leaders and enthusiastic followers provides JROTC the ingredients to make great teams, which will help reach their goal of placing first at the Mitchell competition.
“They can make mistakes and its free here. You go into a job or the military or college, mistakes cost you. The best part of this program I think is the opportunity that we offer to provide those leadership opportunities,” said Commander Stauffer.
The competition is Oct. 3rd and will be held in west Pasco.