AFJROTC participates in Color Guard competition
By John Dingzon,
On March 10, 2017, Lt. Colonel Jones and Technical Sergeant Smith took the Color Guard units to compete against other high schools in the Baltimore City district. It was a city wide Junior ROTC drill meet. There were sessions for unarmed and armed drill units, as well as unarmed drill sequence regulation, and unarmed drill inspection.
It has been nearly 10 years since the Patterson High School Air Force Junior ROTC competed against other high schools in a drill meet competition. The Color Guard team started practicing from the beginning of the school year. They practiced marching, and learning all of the techniques. The new students started learning the maneuvers, but the Color Guard did not practice hard enough until January 2017.
Lt. Colonel Jones started the selection of students who will be on the events and began the training for the actual competition. The real competition did not start until the month after the event. They all work hard to get prepared for the competition and even, the Color Guard took on new maneuvers and drill sequences. They worked hard and did a great job, all the way through the finish line.
The ROTC faced the challenged of finding the time, and created the Color Guard team as the extra-curricular or co-curricular activity and did not have consistent attendance, and that’s because many of the students are part of extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, including the varsity athletics. So they are pulled in different directions. So the biggest challenged this year for the ROTC is for them to come to practice. They had to also use some class time to be able to practice, but this was limited so it did not take away from the academics.
Lt. Col Jones goal was to able to find a time for practice after or before school, so they were not interrupted from their studies. The next event for Junior ROTC is next year again. So anyone who want to can able to participate and also be part of an annual event. It’s also part of Junior ROTC, and what they’re calling the CEO’S Cup, and the Chief Executive Officer for the district. It’s also basically like the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy with the military academy. So the team who wins more events throughout the year will earn this trophy of ROTC in the units.
There were also individual awards. There’s what they call individual drill or Knockout. It’s basically like Simon says. They give commands and people are ask to dropped out if they do the commands incorrectly or if Simon doesn’t say the commands correctly. Patterson High School ROTC made a great showing, but Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly) won the overall event.
It was a great, fun-filled event. In the city this event will happen again next year. Lt. Col Jones hopes the ROTC will participate more in other categories next year. “This year Baltimore Poly won 1st place in the Color Guard, but I think the other schools know we are the school to be watched for next year,” said Lt. Jones.