BTS of a NJROTC competition

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*EDIT* This competition was canceled*

As their competition season comes close to an end, the cadets of the Armed and Unarmed drill teams spend the last few practice days perfecting their routines and teamwork.

Their last competition will be on January 12 at John. D Nease High School in Jacksonville, Florida. In order to get to the competition in time, the participating cadets must leave by 3 in thr morning.

The competitions are all day events, so not many people understand exactly how hard the teams work to prepare and compete against other teams from area 12, which includes part of Florida. The participating teams include: Color Guard, SEALs team (the athletic team), the Athletic team, Unarmed Drill, and Armed Drill.

NJROTC Color Guard is not the same as Friday night lights Colorguard. While both have flags, the NJROTC Color Guard has two cadets that hold rifles, one that holds the NJROTC flag, and one that holds the United States flag. The LCHS NJROTC website describes it as “a masterpiece correlation of military bearing, perfect timing, and unparalleled attention to detail of the routine” and “the most intense drill event at a Field Meet.”

“Doing Color Guard is a big honor,” Cody Geromette (11) said. “You have to make sure to do everything perfectly right, so not everyone is qualified to do it.”

The SEALs team is a group of cadets that have to do push ups, pull ups, running, and standing broad jumps. These students have to practice at least 3 times a week. Their practices consist of Aerobic, and Anaerobic exercises, including Cardio and Plyometrics.

“The Athletic Team is a lot of work,” Aubree Bivins (11) said. “It takes a lot of effort, but that’s why we have to meet so often.”

Both of the Armed and Unarmed teams are further separated into two categories: Regulation and Exhibition. Regulation drill is where the cadets use the disciplinary and teamwork skills they have learned in class, combined with a routine to impress the judges they have to perform against. They are required to use precision and good timing to make sure each movement is right.

Armed Exhibition requires cadets to fully understand the command of the rifle as they perform spins, tosses, and complex marching movements. Working as a team, they give their routine to the judges.

The Unarmed Regulation drill is very close to the Armed, just without the rifles. Their Exhibition is a little harder, as they do not have the rifles. They have to use “military bearing and impeccable timing” as well as “a combination of slaps and highly complex marching movements”

“This will be my last competition as the commander,” Jacob Nichols (11) said. “It is tradition to keep the team for a year, then pass it down to a qualifying cadet. The team has improved quite a lot since I have started, so it will be fun to see how it goes after I pass it down.”

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