Young minds, mature focus; battle in-sync
September 22, 2012
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Competitive energy was insulated by the cloudy skies above Hickam Air Force Base, as 17 high schools rallied their team pride for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps competition.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Clubs from United States Army-Hawaii, the 25th Infantry Division, and Tripler Army Medical Center, unified their skillful and vigilant judging eyes to evaluate the competition for precision and unison in the art of drill and ceremony. Novice sonic-like eardrums amplified nervously trying hard not to anticipate preparatory commands; but all flaws were noted, scored, and tallied.
Various command toned voices echoed loudly all around. "Left, Face; About, Face; Present, Arms." The atmosphere resurrected distant memories from basic training for most SAMC judges as they shared stories during their break time.
"As a volunteer judge for SAMC, I think it was really impressive to see the drill teams from different branches competitively motivated to be number one. Their motivation was certainly contagious," Sgt. Rhobbie Palero, executive administrator for the chief of staff for the 8th Theater Sustainment Command, stated as she relaxed her tired feet.
Proud parents' hearts followed to each beat of their sons' and daughters' 30-inch rhythmic marching steps, and watched in amazement at how devoted their children really were.
One proud parent in particular stood out from the rest. Retired Col. Douglas Jackson, senior Army JROTC Instructor for Kahuku High School, was not only there to support and cheer on the school he instructs for, but to cheer on his 14-year-old daughter, Cadet Seamen Apprentice Denali Jackson from Kalaheo High School.
"I feel pretty prepared. I think it's cool he instructs for Kahuku, it makes me want to try harder," Denali said confidently.
"It will be pretty awkward at home if they beat us," Douglas said jokingly.
Fast forward to the outcome, awkwardness must be presumed since his daughter's high school came out on top. Kalaheo High School JROTC was presented with three 1st place trophies, one 3rd place, and the coveted overall trophy.
"A true testament of selfless service, giving back to the community by encouraging our youth to strive for greatness; whether it is joining the armed services or being a professional in the civilian sector," said the SAMC president of the USA-HI, Sgt. 1st Class Keneidra L. Hargrove, with a sense of great accomplishment. "Working together with Tripler and 25th ID, it is amazing the things we can do together for the good of SAMC and the Army. I am thankful for all the support that we receive from our senior enlisted advisors and members and with that we will continue to go far."