WAIANAE, Hawaii (Sept. 5, 2013) -- There's a new kind of energy on the West Coast, and it's clearly evident in Wai'anae's JROTC cadets.
With barely three weeks of school, they have been quietly making thunderous roars.
They've placed in the top three at various events.
With their first win at the three-on-three basketball tournament at Punahou, the female team showed no mercy as they went on to receive first place.
Retired Master Sgt. Buddy Rego made sure the Waianae basketball team looked like winners before they even hit the court.
Without skipping a single beat, the very next day, Wai'anae took second place in the Wounded Warrior Regatta despite the exhausting day the day prior.
1st Sgt. Milo Sinapati knows how to keep the cadets motivated. He always stresses how resilient and flexible they have to be and how important it is to multitask in order to properly develop key leadership skills.
The cadets survived a weeklong event where every U.S. service recruiter filled their minds with career options in their particular branch. While they simmer in the glory of more winning events this weekend, they had to make time to compose an essay comparing and contrasting the different branches and the options available.
"This is an event, meant to teach teamwork and esprit de corps. It's also an opportunity to have fun," said retired Maj. Wil Alvarado, senior Army instructor, referencing the Hawaii Multiple State Unit's organization day. "Having fun is the key point to emphasize here."
Alvarado joked about bringing trophies home was also fun.
Little did he know that his cadets would do far more than have fun. The Wai'anae Searider Battalion brought home not just one or two, but three trophies, with two being first place trophies and the third one being 2nd place.
Fun and earning trophies, what else could the cadets ask for?
Cadets stepped off the bus wearing a brand new uniform that included black mesh basketball shorts and a white custom T-shirt with the battalion crest and the Wai'anae moto, "Imua Makou O' Wai'anae."
At the end of the day, the white shirts no longer looked brand new. Instead, they had dirt markings indicating how hard they had worked to earn the top three trophies out of a total 15 on event day.
One thing was for sure, even those that were not completely convinced about going quickly found out how much fun the event was. They were happy they went because, besides all the fun, they were able to make new friends from all the different branches of cadets, including the Navy, Air Force and Marines. They came home feeling the euphoria brought on by winning.
Sixteen schools participated in the event, and all went home winners and happy with the new friendships made.
The Searider Battalion is eager to show the community how their hard work is rewarded and to demonstrate that they are worthy of the community's investment in them.
"We just want to show everyone how thankful we are to everyone who believes in us and supports us," said battalion commander Cadet Lt. Col. Briahna Rivera.
Battalion executive officer Poma'I Matanane comically added, "And what better way to show our pride and hard work than to bring home a trophy or two."