BY CHRISTINA ALFARO AND MADISON BENNER
ROTC or Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a class open for all grades, offers many different activities and community events for cadets to take part in. This includes two different competitions that occurred on April 30 and May 7.
On April 30, the Drill team went to Piscataway High School to compete against many different schools. “The armed inspection team left with a 3rd place trophy. Other teams that won were athletic, new cadet, and Knockout which all got 1st place. As well as a second-place trophy for academics,” said sophomore Janvee Patel.
ROTC’s performance at the competition showed that they had improved since their previous competition. “We had a competition in February that we unfortunately did not win and went home with no trophies. To my surprise, the cadets were very motivated to get back into drill practices. They were determined to come back stronger and show that Old Bridge deserves the respect it needs,” said senior Cadet Group Commander, Priya Verma.
On May 7, the drill team went to yet another competition, this time at. “The competition went great. We won in multiple teams. Academic Team placed 2nd. Armed Inspection placed 1st. New Cadet Regulation placed 1st. We placed 2nd in Knockout.” states Verma.
Along with having cadets practice for the competitions, ROTC teaches them multiple lessons needed for life. “I enjoy the competitions because at the end of the day, it’s always about learning and experiencing the skill. We always have fun as a unit. ROTC built strong friendship and trust along the way. Many people found skills they never knew they had, for example, I’m good at commanding. Joining ROTC was the best choice I’ve ever made,” stated freshman Brianna Pelaez-Callejas.
Drill practiced for these competitions every week. “Cadets would attend afterschool practices on Tuesday and Thursday until 4pm. During these practices, our drill department and staff teach them advanced movements and sequences to memorize,” said senior Priya Verma, Cadet Group Commander. The week before the competition, they practiced all week, and stayed after school until 6pm the day before the competition.
There are multiple drill events, including armed inspection, unarmed inspection, etc. Service members and other cadets from the home school supervise and judge all events. “It feels great to put a lot of work into something and reap the rewards that come after. It also let me meet so many people who helped me out in one way or another,” said Zacchary Mendalle.
Posted on 5/18/22
Photos by Yara Al Zubaidi and Ashley Mullin