SISSONVILLE, W.Va. - Twelve engineers from the West Virginia National Guard's 1092nd Engineer Battalion completed an obstacle course for Sissonville High School's (SHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) in November as a part of an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program project.

The project has been in the works since June when the high school asked for help to complete the work. Through the IRT program, which allows for Defense Department military units to provide services to communities throughout the nation, a unit within the West Virginia Army National Guard was identified to finish the project.

"The purpose of this project was to provide a new and exciting way to get the cadets out of the classroom and doing something physical that requires some thinking and teamwork," said retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Tony Lester, MCJROTC program manager at SHS. "It also affords our leaders an opportunity to teach and train their cadets to safely navigate each obstacle and move their team safely through the entire course."

In one week, Soldiers completed an up-and-over bar, low jumps, rollover log, four vault logs and a double pullover bar. The 1092nd team also notched top logs on obstacles, straightened eight vertical posts, installed rebar fasteners and metal pipe as horizontal bars, and leveled the shot-put area for a concrete pad.

"The impact of their work will have lasting effects not only for Sissonville High School, but for the community at large, which is a pillar of the service we provide to our state in the National Guard," said Lt. Col. Robert Kincaid, 1092nd Engineer Battalion commander.

"The WVNG showed up, worked the entire week and was instrumental in helping us complete a course that our Cadets will enjoy for many years to come," said Lester. "We want to extend a hardy thank you to all Soldiers involved and let them know they truly made a difference in a lot of kids' lives."

With the completion of the obstacle course, the MCJROTC program will now be able to provide realistic physical training to prepare students for basic military training if they join the military.

The MCJROTC program teaches leadership skills, character development, self-discipline and citizenship. More than 110 cadets are enrolled in the program at SHS.

In addition, SHS's MCJROTC program hosts an honors leadership course. Cadets enrolled in this program will also benefit from the new obstacle course.

The project also provided WVNG engineers with valuable training in their job skills, ensuring enhanced readiness among the force.