By: Hannah Johnson and Cade Stotts
The Newnan High School JROTC has competed in numerous drill competitions this school year. Many of the students have had life changing experiences and have demonstrated their talent through the meets.
PHOTO GALLERY: NHS AFJROTC’S AWARDS
Wesley Sloan, senior at NHS, has competed in five drill meets. Throughout these meets, he has always commanded the arm side. His favorite section of the competition is the armed exhibition portion.
The team has competed in five drill meets this year. As a team, they won a Medal of Excellence and a Certificate of Excellence.
They competed at Dutchtown and received a fifth place award in armed exhibition, a fourth place award in armed inspection and a third place overall award in armed division.
Their year continued to a competition in Tift, Georgia, where they received a third place award in single armed exhibition, a fourth place award in unarmed inspection and a fifth place award in armed inspection.
Following the Tift County meet, they won several more awards at Marietta High School. The awards included second place unarmed color guard, third place unarmed overall division, fourth place unarmed exhibition and fourth place unarmed regulation.
John McCarry, NHS senior, has competed in four of the competitions this year. McCarry stated, “My favorite competition had to be at Tift High School. It was an overnight meet that turned out to be a really fun night, even though I was sick and trying to get better for the competition the next day. But in all, it was a pretty great time.”
The JROTC drill team competed in East Paulding Drill Competition and received a third place award in armed regulation and a second place award in armed exhibition.
Finally, they recently competed at the state level and came home with an admirable list of awards. The awards included: third place unarmed exhibition, third place armed regulation, fourth place armed exhibition, fifth place armed inspection, fifth place unarmed regulation and fifth place unarmed inspection.
Victoria Melanson, a NHS junior, is the 2016-2017 drill commander. She has competed in all 6 drill meets, marched in Unarmed regulation, Unarmed Exhibition, Armed Regulation and Unarmed Color guard. Melanson said, “My favorite competition was our State Drill meet because of the groups that attended and the pure talent.”
Being in JROTC takes time and hard work, but when meets come around it can also be nerve-racking physically and mentally.
Cadet Wesley Sloan, a senior, stated, “There is nothing really physically challenging about the drill meets, but the mental aspect of them is tough.” He continued, “Nerves run high between the inspections.”
Since Cadet Sloan commands the drill team in many of the events, he is in charge of making sure that his team can remember the questions and the drill routines for the different types of exhibitions.
The competition season has been very beneficial in the growth of the newly reformed JROTC division.
Master Sergeant Turner, the leader of the JROTC program at NHS, stated, “The team has done pretty good this year but we expect better next year. This is the first year that the unit is treating themselves like any other varsity sport here on campus.”
The program has grown even more competitive and focused on bringing home awards after its most recent run of successes.
The future of the JROTC program is aiming to be even more successful. This year they had twelve freshmen who will be experienced sophomores next year.
Master Sergeant Turner commented, “We had twelve freshman on the team this year. All of them competed this year. So, next year we will have twelve experienced sophomores on the team and hopefully pull in another twelve or more freshman next year. If we can maintain that growth every year from here on out, GA-934 will be strong and competitive for years to come.“
Part of the members of the leadership team this year are seniors. The division has been well led and provided with good leaders as JROTC role models.
The students that want to be considered for it next year will attend a program at Clayton State University.
The NHS Air Force JROTC will be allotted twenty spots for their possible upcoming leadership. This will be a multiple day, overnight experience that will provide the participants with the training that they need to be a good leader. They will take the classes and then bring back their knowledge to the rest of the NHS JROTC members.
John McCarry commented, “ROTC has made me a better person, and I can only thank the instructors and the people that went before me in this program, because they’re the kind of people I strive to be.”
The JROTC program has affected many students lives in the previous years and will continue affect more as they grow in the upcoming years.