CHARLESTON — North Surry High Schools Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) has captured top honors at the South Carolina Cadet Leadership Course for a third consecutive year.
Colonel John Bowes said 20 cadets participated in the course where the group won three top trophies. There were 15 cadets, called “basics” who competed for their first time with five more, called “cadre” who had participated in their second competition. Traditionally, cadre members run the school under the mentorship of instructors.
“The structure of the school is similar to the operations of an Airy Force wing,” Bowes said. “The school has a heavy concentration on physical fitness.” Cadets start their day at 5:30 a.m. with an hour and 15 minutes of physical training followed by a three-mile run followed by around 500 to 1,000 repetitions of exercises including push ups, sit ups, squats, flutter kicks and jumping jacks.
After breakfast, cadets change into uniforms for inspection and have room inspections. This is followed by outdoor leadership laboratory activities and challenges in marksmanship, drill practice, rappelling off of a 60-foot wall and leadership classroom academics.
After the evening meal, cadets participated in more sports with the results going toward honors flight selections. The week-long school held the week of June 9 ended with a military parade and awards ceremony. The Lt. Colonel Bill Van Eaton Physical Fitness Award went to North for 100 percent of cadets passing the Personal Fitness Tests (PFTs).
Top individual drill trophies were awarded to North Surry Cadet Marissa Mabe and Cadet Rebecca Bowes as North captured the school’s only two trophies in this category. The outstanding basic cadet trophy in alpha squadron went to Rebecca Bowes with outstanding basic cadet ribbons going to Carlo Perez in the beta flight and Marissa Mabe in the delta flight.
Superior Performance Ribbons for excellence in military drill in a leadership position went to cadets Mabe, Brooke Bennett, Jamison Hiatt, Belle Martin and Jamison Hiatt. Zachary Eaton received the outstanding performance flight ribbon for being a member of these school’s honor flight.
The leadership ribbon and co-curricular ribbon were awarded to five cadre members. Cadre Cadet Alex Bowes interviewed for and was selected as the wing commander for the school, making him in charge of running the camp. Third-year attendee cadet Austin Mundy was selected to be on the wing’s staff as motivational officer due to his energetic style of leadership. Col. Bowes said cadets Jeremiah Griffin and Adam Butcher did an outstanding job evaluating the performance of all cadets in the school with Jacob Gurley doing well running the orienteering activities. The academic excellence ribbon was awarded to cadets Nathan Golding and Rebecca Bowes.
The leadership school ribbon was awarded to all cadets graduating from the course. North Surry Cadets earning this ribbon were Briston Badgett, Brooke Bennett, Rebecca Bowes, Alex Bowes, Adam Butcher, Nakota Chandler, Zachary Eaton, Nathan Golding, David Gravely, Jeremiah Griffin, Jacob Gurley, Jamison Hiatt, Marissa Mabe, Reece Moore, Austin Mundy, Brenely Palacios, Carlo Perez and Dustin Young.
The physical training ribbon for passing he physical fitness test Badgett, Bennett, Rebecca and Alex Bowes, Kennedi Bowman, Adam Butcher, Nakota chandler, Eaton, Golding, Gravely, Griffin, Gurley, Hiatty, Mabe, Martin, Moore, Mundy, Palacios and Dustin Young.
First Sargent Kenneth Goetzke and Colonel Bowes agreed their JROTC philosophy of over preparing has led to success. Bowes said this not only applied to preparing physically but with one cadet bringing a bed to school so they could practice making their bunks and doing military drills until they felt it was “inevitable” they would win in this area.
“Over preparing when it counts is our way of doing things,” Bowes said. “Our cadets are very focused on excellence in all we do.I believe that is why we win. We want to recognize we had some major sponsors, both individuals and businesses that helped make this possible.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-325-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.