JROTC competed in the Western Regional Drill championship to showcase their talent.
On February 1st, Thomas Jefferson High School’s JROTC Drill Team and Honor Platoon (HP) voyaged by bus to San Antonio, Texas. A total of 17 students competed, accompanied by Sergeant Scott Johns and Major Dennis Campbell, for the Western Regional Drill Championship. The two teams competed in a total of 10 categories over the entirety of the day.
TJ had the opportunity to go to the event because both Drill Team and HP both were able to qualify at the state competition. This was Drill Team’s first time competing in the Western Regional Drill Championship and Honor Platoon’s third. The two teams performed their drills in the middle of a gym floor with officials watching carefully. The competition was based on a point system, awarding the respectable amount of points from each category to each team.
Drill Team is a militant unit that performs marching routines based on military drill sequence. They competed in five different events, including Color Guard (responsible for presenting the flag in a variety of settings), Color Guard Inspection, Platoon (a subdivision of a company of soldiers), Inspection with Arms, Platoon Regulation Drill with Arms (the Drill Team marches a pre planned routine with demilitarized rifles), and Expedition Drill with Arms (a mix between traditional military marching with the ability to show off more creative abilities with demilitarized rifles). The team placed 15th out of 20 overall.
HP competed in two events, taking second place in Regulation and fourth in Expedition (a mix between traditional military marching with the ability to show off in a hip hop style). They placed seventh out of 20 teams overall. Since HP placed in the top ten, they qualified for the national competition and were granted funding from the Army, helping them go to the competition later this year. “We hope to do even better at nationals than we did at regionals,” said senior and team captain Kayla Anderson.
Since HP had free time upon reaching their destination, they made an effort the day before the competition to go see the Alamo in Alamo, Texas. Upon arrival, they spent the entire day exploring and learning about the historical events that took place there. “We had a good time doing the San Antonio riverwalk and exploring downtown,” said Sergeant Johns. More importantly, they were focused and prepared for the following day’s competition.
TJ’s Drill Team and Honor Platoon represented Colorado out of 20 teams from seven other states: Arizona, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and New Mexico. The two teams worked and fought hard for their placement on the scoreboard, and know what to do next time in order to take first place by improving their routine execution.