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Alabama JROTC Programs Among Best at 2019 Grand Nationals

The National High School Drill Team Championships (NHSDTC) is one of the nation’s best-known and oldest Junior ROTC (JROTC) competitions. This gathering of top cadets and corps from across the nation, is held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command sponsors this event, which has now grown to feature some of the top cadets from all service branches. More than 180,000 cadets, instructors and parents have attended the NHSDTC competition. This year, two schools from Alabama participated in this exciting event – Hazel Green High School and Bob Jones High School.

The Navy JROTC Program from Hazel Green High School competed in the 2019 National High School Drill Team Challenge Level - Armed Overall Championships and placed 13th overall, out of 31 top national teams that competed (https://thenationals.net/dt-results-2019c-ARMED.pdf).

Alabama’s Hazel Green High School also placed 17th nationally in the National High School Drill Team Challenge Level - Unarmed Regulation Championships(https://thenationals.net/dt-results-2019c-UNARMED.pdf).

The Air Force JROTC Program from Bob Jones High School competed in the 2019 National High School Drill Team Challenge Level - Open Color Guard Championships and placed 12th overall, out of 40 highly skilled national teams (https://thenationals.net/dt-results-2019c-OLCG.pdf).

The Grand Nationals is one of the most renowned competitions in the world, with hundreds of top instructors lending their expertise to judging its exciting competitions. The branches of service, which participated this year included the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps JROTC programs. Visit the event website https://thenationals.net/nhsdtc.htm.

Congratulations to both schools!

Mobile County Public School System Gets $1 Million Grant From National Science Foundation For JROTC STEM Leadership Academy

The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of about $1 million to Mobile County Public Schools to fund the JROTC STEM Leadership Academy and study how it helps develop a regional workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

“How wonderful that the National Science Foundation is investing in the youth of today and this leadership program through JROTC,” MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek said. “I could not be prouder of everyone who has been involved in this.”

Read the full article here: mcpssthewire.com/?p=3068

Thompson High School Air Force JROTC Honors Veterans

Thompson High School Air Force JROTC partnered with the homeowners association of Silver Creek subdivision in Alabaster to honor veterans. With the assistance of Lt. Col. Doug Crabb, every veteran received a personal greeting, a salute, and a festive red, white, and blue ribbon tied to their mailboxes for Veterans Day. 

“We wanted the young people to meet these veterans, and we wanted the neighbors to know where our veterans live,” said Silver Creek President Donna Morris. “We think it’s just great for these young people to meet real heroes, and for the veterans to meet these fine young people, too.”

The homeowners association made ribbons for the cadets to deliver. Morris said she’s proud of the cadets and of her long association with area students. 

Lt. Col. Doug Crabb, in his sixth year as director of the program at Thompson, said cadets logged more than 2000 hours of community service last year, including work at the American Cemetery, the Alabaster Senior Center and a local animal shelter. Cadets also helped raise $1500 for the Fallen Warrior Project.

“We have our annual veterans program and breakfast on Nov. 9,” Crabb said. “We invite all veterans to join us at 8:30 at the Thompson Arena for an inspiring program and a complimentary breakfast.”

Read the full story here. 

Lee High School AFJROTC (AL-011) Cadets Win Youth Group Volunteer of the Year Award

At the Hands On River Region and Junior League of Montgomery's annual River Region Volunteer of the Year Awards Program, the Lee High School AFJROTC (AL-011) Cadets won the Youth Group Volunteer of the Year Award. 

This school year, the cadets have dedicated over 2,000 hours to community service epitomizing the USAF Core Value of Service Before Self.

JROTC Student Recognized for Service, Program Completion

Andrew Legette, a Daleville High School graduate, was recognized before the Daleville City Council on May 21 by Daleville Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kecia Ham for his service helping others during the city’s Spartan Fest on Saturday, May 18. 

Legette was also recognized for his completion of the DHS JROTC program, receiving his JROTC chords before the council from JROTC Senior Army Instructor Col. (ret.) Teresa Townsend.


Chickasaw High School JROTC Team to Compete in National Leadership Bowl Championship in Washington, DC

Alabama JROTC 2 Alabama JROTC 3

Chickasaw, Alabama – After advancing through two phases of online competition, the Chickasaw High School JROTC Leadership Team composed of Austin Eubanks, Gregory Harger, Sarah Rhodes, and DeJesus Sullivan will compete in person at the Championship event in Washington, DC. The 2019 U.S. Army JROTC Leadership Bowl Championship will be held on the campus of The Catholic University of America, June 21-25, 2019This event is sponsored by the U.S. Army Cadet Command, JROTC Headquarters and is conducted by the College Options Foundation.

The Chickasaw High School JROTC team earned top scores out of the 1,350 Army JROTC teams that competed from around the world. The team is one of only forty Army JROTC Leadership Bowl teams in the nation to advance to the final competition, which includes an all-expense paid trip to the Championship event in DC. During the two fast-paced preliminary rounds, cadets were tested on their knowledge of current events, leadership values, and leadership skills.

The JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl (JLAB) is a nationally recognized competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity. The competition creates tremendous opportunities for JROTC cadets by allowing them to demonstrate leadership and academic abilities.

College Options Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the academic development of high school students and assisting them in their preparation for higher education. Using academic competitions, college exam study guides, college admissions tutorials, and personalized counseling, College Options Foundation has assisted the nation’s JROTC cadets worldwide for over a decade.

Enterprise High School JROTC Takes Second At State

Alabama JROTC 1

The Enterprise High School JROTC Wildcat Battalion won second overall at the State of Alabama Drill Championships in Montgomery on March 9.

“We’ve been dominating and they had all ends of the state (at the competition),” JROTC Instructor Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Gary Price said. “Sparkman (High School) from Huntsville won but it’s usually between Sparkman, Pell City (High School) and us—it just swaps around.”

The Wildcat Battalion came into the state championships off four consecutive first place wins at competitions in Greenville, Pell City and Sidney Lanier invitationals as well as first at the Fort Rucker NCO Cadet Challenge.

Price said the JROTC students easily spent 300 hours this year training for all the competitions that the battalion attends.

“You’re out there five to eight minutes for each little sequence so it’s a lot of hours put in for such a short amount of time, but that’s what it takes,” Price said. “Practice makes perfect.”

The Wildcat Battalion will head to its final competition of the season on April 6 in DeFuniak Springs, Fla., and then Price said it’s time for tryouts for the 2019-2020 year.

“Right after this competition, we’ll have a week—kind of—break and then we start tryouts for next year,” Price said. “We actually go over to both junior highs and do a recruiting trip and then we’ll have tryouts for two weeks. We normally have a big crowd coming to try out.”

Price said he’s proud of the how the cadets have performed this year.

“We’ve had a great year and they’ve performed very well,” Price said.

The individual awards for the Alabama Drill Championships is as follows:

  • 1st Place Unarmed Division;
  • 2nd Place Unarmed Regulation, commanded by Courtney Soli;
  • 1st Place Unarmed Color Guard, commanded by Amber Mayse;
  • 4th Place Armed Exhibition, commanded by Tal Audiss;
  • 2nd Place Armed Regulation, commanded by Tal Audiss;
  • 2nd Place Armed Dual Exhibition, Brice Thomas and Tucker Boswell;
  • 3rd Place Unarmed Dual Exhibition, Bri Davis and ZyAeriah Morris;
  • 1st Place Unarmed Exhibition, Courtney Soli;
  • 2nd Place PT Team A, Jake Holmes, Colby Clark, Lauren Rodgers and Daniel Babaran Sun;
  • 3rd Place PT Team B, Evan Crawford, Tristen Stratton, Nathan Schmidt and Tyler Rathburn; and,
  • 2nd Place Academic Team, commanded by Madison Grimes with team members Evan Crawford, Shani Waters and Matthew Denzine.

Thank you to The Southeast Sun for the article.

Daleville JROTC Cadets Use Wreaths To Honor Veterans

On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of the Daleville High School JROTC Warhawk Battalion took part in Wreaths Across America, honoring veterans who have passed with a wreath on their grave.

The JROTC students joined hundreds of others around the country in showing their appreciation. They placed over 200 wreaths on the graves of veterans at three cemeteries in Daleville.

Daleville High School JROTC Senior Instructor Col. (ret) Teresa Townsend said the students enjoyed honoring those who have served their country.

"When a young person, especially a JROTC cadet, stands in front of a grave, says the veteran's name, and lays a wreath there, it honors that person's sacrifice for our country,” she said. “The cadets were very moved by the experience.”

You can read the full article covered by the Southeast Sun here

Carver High School Takes Home The Prize

The Carver High School Army JROTC brought their  A-game to the Lee/New Century High School Drill Competition in Huntsville. The team was the Overall Winner and several cadets also brought home individual awards. Great work, team. 

Army JROTC Cadets Attend STEM Camp

Army JROTC cadets from Mobile County, AL attended the Mississippi State LeaderState STEM Camp.


Sidney Lanier JROTC Program Volunteers With Meal Makers

The Sidney Lanier JROTC Program finished the year as strong as it begun, volunteering at the Montgomery Area Council on Aging (MACOA). 

The MACOA Meals Makers program offers a unique volunteer opportunity as they welcome businesses, civic organizations, Sunday school classes, and school groups to help them assemble the meals during weekday mornings.

MACOA’s larger workspace in their newly renovated kitchen opened up an opportunity for a new volunteer program. 

The Lanier High School JROTC Team will be forever know as the first organization to officially kick off the MACOA Meals Makers program as they prepared meals for the elderly. 

Students Joins JROTC For Physical Ed Credit,
Now Headed To West Point

On May 22, 612 Auburn High seniors will graduate. Some will immediately enter the work force, and some will start packing their bags for college. For senior Cammy Smith, who has lived in the same house since she was born, the future awaits in West Point, New York.

When Smith found out she had been accepted into the prestigious academy earlier this year, she was speechless.

If you had asked her if she wanted to attend West Point back in the spring or early fall of last year, she would have likely said no.

It wasn't until Lt. Col. Anthony Benitez, AHS Junior ROTC instructor, and Smith's mom, Sheryl, gave her a nudge that she decided to consider West Point. A visit to the military academy's campus last September closed the deal.

"That's what changed my mind, and I was like, 'This is where I want to be,' " Smith said. "I got to be there for a weekend, follow around another cadet and go to their classes and sleep in their dorms. I got to meet other people from different states, different countries. It was a really nice experience."

Benitez said he has watched Smith grow during her three years in Junior ROTC — a class she only signed up for as a sophomore because she needed a Physical Education credit. He said she has assumed a leadership position among her peers.

"She is all about being a leader. Seeing her in front of a group of people, you can just tell she has that acumen," he [Lt. Col. Anthony Benitez] said. "She's not intimidated, and I think that's really going to serve her well."

Read the full article here: https://www.auburnvillager.com/news/auburn-high-senior-to-embark-on-military-career-at-west/article_01c829f0-5451-11e8-93bd-fb6e01edcb3c.html

Alabama Army JROTC Placed 10th in the World at National Academic Bowl Awards

The Stanhope Elmore High School JROTC Mustang Battalion placed 10th in the world out of over 1740 JROTC teams worldwide.

Team Captain and rising senior, Braden McGee (2nd from the left), was recognized as one of only four cadets in the competition across Navy, Marines, Air Force and Amy that scored a perfect 36 on the ACT.

Cadets in photo (from left to right):
Rising junior, Brionna Smith, 4.0 GPA.
Rising junior, Kayla Holmes, 4.0 GPA.
Rising junior, Michael Hale, 3.95 GPA, scored a 32 on the ACT.
Rising senior, Braden McGee, 4.3 GPA, scored a perfect 36 of ACT.

This battalion has represented their school, community, and JROTC with excellence.   


Alabama Takes Home 13 Medals at Air Rifle Championships

Alabama represented well at the Alabama State “Above The Best” 3-Position Air Rifle Championships. Alabama's league took home 13 medals between Sparkman (8) and Fort Payne (5). Both teams did exceptionally well and their shooters are to be commended. 

See list of shooters and teams below: 

- Sparkman’s Hahn indv Gold NRA 3x20; indv Gold NRA 60-shot standing; indv Gold ATB Overall Champion; and indv Silver CMP Cup 3x20

- Sparkman’s Wade indv Bronze NRA 60-shot standing

- Sparkman Team 1 Silver NRA 3x20; Team Silver NRA 60-shot standing; Team Bronze CMP Cup 3x20

- Fort Payne Team Gold CMP Cup 3x20; Team Bronze NRA 60-shot standing

- Fort Payne’s McKaig indv Silver Junior Olympics men’s 60-shot standing

- Fort Payne’s Fowler indv Silver Junior Olympics women’s 60-shot standing

- Fort Payne’s Robison indv Bronze Junior Olympics women’s 60-shot standing

See official results here

These teams and shooters will represent 6th Brigade’s Alabama Teams (along with Enterprise and a pair of shooters from Carver HS) at the JROTC Service Regionals 8-10 in February at the CMP Range in Anniston.

JROTC Team advances to 2nd round of National JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl

Paul W. Bryant’s MCJROTC Academic Team has advanced to the second round of the National JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl. The contest is conducted online and tests students’ knowledge in ACT style academic questions, JROTC curriculum, and current events in multiple rounds with time limits for each question. This is the second year in a row that the team has advanced to the second round, beating out over 40 other schools nationwide in order to continue competing. Second round competition begins in February, and if successful, the team will advance to the finals in Washington DC in May.


Cadet First Sergeant Tristan Williams awarded Outstanding JROTC Cadet Award


Congratulations to Cadet First Sergeant Tristan Williams, who was awarded the Outstanding JROTC Cadet Award by the Black Warrior River Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution on January 25, 2018. 

This award is presented annually by the local chapter who judge applicant’s performance and leadership in JROTC, as well as the quality of an original essay that must be submitted. Winners at the local level progress on to state and national competitions. 

In addition to winning the local competition, Cadet Williams placed 2nd for the state of Alabama and will receive a cash prize of $350 for his efforts. Well done, First Sergeant!


Bryant High MCJROTC cadets help with Toys For Tots in Tuscaloosa 



Semper Fi & Merry Christmas, Tuscaloosa! Bryant High MCJROTC cadets have once again contributed their time and energy to helping the Toys for Tots program. Toys for Tots is a program that was founded in 1947 and run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve, which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. Every year cadets assist the Alabama Marines Foundation in collecting and distributing toys to local families in need. Over 800 families received toys from the charity over the last three days. 


Paul W. Bryant High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC designated as a Naval Honor School for another year

For the second consecutive year in its relatively short history, The Paul W. Bryant High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC (PWBHS MCJROTC) has once again been designated as a Naval Honor School for the past academic year.

Selection as a Naval Honor School means that the school's MCJROTC program ranks in the top 20% in the country, and is one of the top ten programs in Region 2 which covers Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, and the Carolinas.

To achieve this honor, the Bryant cadets displayed an extreme amount of dedication and hard work. They achieved a "Full Mission Capable" score on their most recent Commanding General's Inspection, a top to bottom inspection of the program to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of students, instructors, program administration, and activities. In addition, they achieved the following accomplishments:

- Almost 75% of cadets in the program were involved in at least one sport or other extracurricular activity besides JROTC
- 7 seniors have already entered or signed contracts to enter the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, and National Guard.
- Completed over 1000 community service hours serving both the school and local community, as well as conducting over 30 Color Guard or other patriotic ceremonies within the school and community.
- Over 30% of cadets achieved some sort of Academic award, to include A-B Honor Roll or higher -Competed in six JROTC Drill/Military Skills competitions, placing no lower than 2nd place in except two.
- Rifle Team was undefeated in all shooting matches.
- Over 50% of cadets completed an extended stay Leadership Camp or STEM Camp at Ft McClellan, AL, Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL, or MCRD Parris Island, SC during the summer.

All of this required a high level of dedication and commitment from the cadets, especially when one considers the fact that the vast majority of these activities took place on weekends or outside of normal school hours. Add in the fact that the Bryant MCJROTC program is only in its fifth year of existence, and one can see what a truly great achievement these cadets have accomplished.

Being designated a Naval Honor School brings well deserved recognition to these students, but it also allows the school to nominate cadets to the military service academies with a "Service-Affiliated" nomination. These nominations are not available to the general population and will provide our students with an increased chance of acceptance to schools like the U.S. Military Academy and Naval Academy.

Central High School JROTC Cadet Receives Full Scholarship To Yale

Alabama JROTC is proud to announce that Davornne Lindo, Alabama JROTC State President from Central High School, has received a full ride to Yale University. 

Davornne is an exemplary role model for those cadets and state officers following her legacy. Lindo says she will be studying Political Science and hopes to become a Senator one day. 

Watch video and read full article here: http://www.wtvm.com/story/38179614/central-high-school-student-receives-full-scholarship-to-yale


Devique McWilliams
W.P. Davidson High School
Mobile, Alabama

Devique had a rough start in life. At only six weeks old, he was diagnosed with meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. His doctors predicted he would die. This was the first time Devique would demonstrate his inner strength. He did not die. 

Because of the condition, Devique’s speech and learning abilities were delayed. He did not begin talking until he was 6 years old. The doctors said he was autistic and would have to take special classes. Devique’s parents declined this offer, convinced that he could catch up. They were right.

With their help, Devique not only caught up to the students his age, but he quickly surpassed many of them in his academics. In his nomination of Devique as a Young Hero, W.H. Davidson High School senior Naval Science instructor Capt. Tom Daniel, USN, Ret. wrote, “Devique often things about the struggles of his childhood and uses those experiences to motivate him toward a brighter future.”

In addition to these early struggles, Devique has a sickle-cell trait and is allergic to wheat. Devique’s mother also struggles with many health issues of her own.

As with many today, money is tight in Devique’s family. His mother and stepfather work hard to provide for the family. Devique’s biological father has battled addition issues for many years. His father’s issues are a great concern to this young man. “This has been hard on Devique,” Capt. Daniel wrote, “because he hasn’t seen his dad for more than 10 years. 

They talk on the phone from time to time, but Devique’s mind constantly gives him doubt, and he worries that his father’s problems are Devique’s fault.” Currently, father and son are maintaining a good relationship, and Devique looks forward to seeing him soon.

Devique undertakes many responsibilities around the house and at school, while simultaneously seeking employment opportunities to help his family. At school, he attends classes, maintains a 3.5 grade point average and works on college applications. He tackles the many challenges in the NJROTC (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) program, including attending meetings to discuss occupations and setting monthly program goals for personal improvement. Devique also attends NJROTC practices and instills knowledge, good character and healthy lifestyle habits to the cadets.

Devique maintains a significant role in his fraternity, the Alpha Elites. The fraternity visits churches, nursing homes and colleges, helps with community projects, and works to serve the needy.

From the day of his birth until today, quitting was never an option for Devique. In honor of his dedication and his unstoppable will to overcome and succeed, Devique is recognized by his school and our state as one of the five 2018 Young Heroes of Alabama.

Central High School Student Named Cadet of the Year 2016-2017

Cadet Erskine Simmons, from Central High School, was named Alabama Society's Sons of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet of the Year for 2016-17. He is being presented his award by Richard Wells at the ALSSAR Convention.

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