CCHS NJROTC brings home top honors

Made up mostly of new cadets, the CCHS NJROTC Drill Team brought home an amazing array of awards and trophies from their first competition of the year. Flanked on the left by Master Chief Jackson and on the right by coach Bob Palmer, the triumphant drill team pose with their awards.

   On January 12, the Crook County NJROTC kicked off their Drill and Rifle season with a bang, sweeping the competition and taking overall high point Drill Team at the West Valley Competition held in Yakima.,
   After an astounding performance in the 2001 season the Drill Team won the Regional and West Coast Championship title as well as placed 4th in the nation at National Competition in Pensacola, Fla. As many of the original Drill Team cadets graduated last year, the novice 2002 Drill Team had big shoes to fill to defend their titles, though the new cadets are willing to take the challenge to uphold Crook County's championship reign. Crook County cadets could not have their aspirations clearer than by their single-sided victory at the West Valley Competition.
   Under the meticulous coaching of NJROTC associate instructor Master Chief Jackson and assistant coach Bob Palmer, the Drill Team came through. The list of awards is impressive: first place Armed Drill, second place Unarmed Drill, first place Color Guard No. 1, and second place Color Guard No. 2.
   Individual honors were also indicative of the winning spirit. Cadet Dan Fournier earned first place Armed Drill Team Commander and Cadet James Taylor won both first place Unarmed Drill Team Commander and Solo Armed Exhibition routine.
   Cadets Dustin Palmer and Keith Meyers earned the first place Duo Armed Exhibition routine medal, and freshman Cadet Justin Hook placed fifth in the Individual Drill Down.
   The West Valley competition was also the introduction of Crook County's Marksmanship Team coached by NJROTC instructor Capt. Hutchinson who commented, "The Rifle team is not yet fully competitive but the cadets show great talent and promise for the future," Hutchinson said.
   The Crook County NJROTC Drill Team entered the West Valley competition against three Northwest states with a team of only 10 percent seasoned drill team cadets. The current team is made up mostly of freshmen and cadets new to the NJROTC program.
   Coaches Jackson and Palmer were content to use the 2002 season as a non-competitive year to build up a new Drill Team, though this was not the goal of the determined young cadets. Despite their inexperience, the new cadets were able to control Crook County's foothold as a leader, and as a drill team with national-level capabilities.
   Training callow cadets the technique of difficult rifle maneuvers and intricate drill routines requires a great deal of patience and dedication on the part of both the cadets and coaches.
   "In my 21 years of teaching Drill I've never had the opportunity to train a more determined and committed group of cadets." explained coach Jackson. "These young people have the right attitude to work and win as a team."
   Both seasoned veterans and new cadets of the Crook County NJROTC Drill Team continue to train hard and display the drive necessary to maintain the reputation of excellence that has taken years for Crook County cadets to earn.
   The CCHS JROTC Drill Team's next competition takes them to Walla Walla the first weekend in February. Over the Feb. 23rd weekend, the NJROTC will host a Northwest Drill and Rifle Conference meet.
   All family, friends, and community fans are invited to turn out and support the Cowboy and Cowgirl Unit.