DAYTONA, Florida (May 1, 2021) – The sounds of cadence, marching and cheers filled the air his past weekend as Cadets from across the country descended on Daytona to take part in the JROTC National Drill and JROTC National Fitness competitions.
The first day of competition was set aside for the All-Army Drill Competition, with day two hosting the All- Service Drill Competition as well as the Fitness Competition.
After observing both days of competition, Maj. Gen. John Evans, commander for U.S. Army Cadet Command, shared his thoughts and some advice to the cadets during the award ceremony.
“I am going to challenge you to do three things tonight, then I’m going to give you a secret and tell you what life’s most significant truth is and if you remember it, you will be successful – I guarantee it,” he said.
“First, I want to challenge you to live your life with integrity. Regardless of where you go or what you do in your life, if you do not have your personal integrity you will not be successful,” Evans said. “You have to sustain it, you have to protect it, and you have to honor it. Once you lose it, it cannot be brought back. I tell you that, as young people with your entire lives ahead of you, that’s it’s important to remember that is the one thing you can’t barter in this life. So I challenge you tonight to live your lives with integrity.”
Evans went on to discuss the importance of handling the results of competition, whether as the person who comes in first or some other ranking.
“I want to talk to you about is competition, and you ought to know something about that because I have watched you all weekend long, working your behinds off, practicing, performing, putting heart and soul into this thing that you do,” he said. “I’ve seen incredible achievement and many, many teams will take home trophies tonight. Some may not and that’s okay because you came out here and left it all on the floor, on the drill pads and on the beach.”
“The second thing I want to challenge you to do, because as good as you may be in life, regardless if you are at the top of your trade, field or academics, whatever it is you do and as good as you will be, you will find a time when you will lose. We all do – nobody wins every time,” Evans went on to tell the cadets. “My second challenge tonight is when you lose, lose with dignity. There’s no benefit in being a poor loser. There’s no point in tearing someone down who beat you in fair competition – learn from it, make yourself better from it.
The best way to handle winning was Evans third point.
“The last thing I’m going to challenge you to do tonight, and this is important, is that when you win, win with humility. Remember that today is your day, but it easily could have been someone else’s. The only thing worse than a sore loser is a winner that’s too prideful,” he said. “It’s okay to be excited, it’s okay to be proud when you’ve done well and achieved great things and you have won. But I challenge you here tonight and in your life, when you win, win with humility.”
In the end, Evans said he was impressed and inspired by all he saw and heard at the competition.
“I could not be happier with the spirit of competition I saw this weekend – teams cheering each other on, people who don’t even know each other pulling for one another – that is what it’s about,” Evans said. “That is what is best about America because I will tell you I have been doing this for 33 years and the thing that impresses me the most about the United States military and our country in general is that when things are at their very worst, American are at their very best.”
More photos from the competition are available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/armyrotc/albums.