Without a doubt, the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) is unique to Gable’s atmosphere in that it instills leadership, test precision, physical skills and most importantly, commitment, within high school students. Through this program’s curriculum, a student is provided with a more disciplined environment that is normally not seen in a typical classroom. It is these characteristics that JROTC embody that paved the way for the male and females’ first and third place victories on Sep. 29 in the Killian Raider Challenge.
The Raider Challenge’s team competition consists of 5 events: a 5k run, obstacle course, tire toss, cross-country rescue and rope bridge challenge. In order for students to succeed in such labor induced competitions, Major Chavez, the Senior Army Instructor, puts them through rigorous training that builds cardiovascular strength and team bonding.
“I think a lot of the events help them learn physical fitness and problem-solving skills because they have to be as physically fit as any other athlete. Many of the obstacle courses consist of a lot of problem-solving because they have to decide what tactics to use in order to have the fastest time,” Senior Army Instructor Vidal Chavez said.
The most important factor in deciding whether a team is victorious is their ability to work together in a smart but highly efficient manner. In the Raider team competition, students must compete in groups of 10 members in each event and must apply critical thinking skills and strength in order to obtain the fastest time possible to achieve the win.
The Raider team first runs a 5k as a team, with the fastest time ending victorious. The second event, the cross-country rescue, consists of a 10-person team that is tasked with carrying various weights (meant to represent a person) and equipment in a mile long race, without letting go of the weights. After this event, they must carry a huge tractor tire in teams of five for the first 50 yards and another team of five alternates that must take the tire back another 50 yards. The most difficult event out of the five is the rope bridge event. The teams are given anchor posts in order to create a rope bridge so all teams members can get across without touching the ground, which is very difficult to accomplish. Finally, is the ultimate strength testing competition which is randomly organized by the school who hosts the competition; the obstacles are made to test every ounce of strength a person holds.
“In all the events we do, 5k, rope bridge, tire toss and liter carry we all require teamwork and communication, we all have to be there for one another, we are not just a team, we are a family, so being able to support one another is also a big thing,” junior Melanie Ortiz said.
Through many hours of training and practicing, the Raider Challenge team can take the lessons that they have learned in practice and apply them to their everyday routines. JROTC instills skills within its participants that bring about commitment and determination to reach a certain goal that benefits students immensely. Despite the Raider team’s victory, they continue working effortlessly every day of the week to improve for their upcoming competition at State Qualifiers next month. We wish them the best of luck in their future competitions!