Region drill meets, preludes to the national high school drill team championships in Daytona Beach, Fla., are history.

Officials with Cadet Command's Junior ROTC division have opted to nix the competitions, clearing the way to crown a true Army national champion.

The first Army national meet is set for March 31 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. Future meets will be held the last Saturday in March.

Louisville was selected as the meet's home due to its central location to many of the country's JROTC programs and its proximity to Cadet Command's Fort Knox headquarters.

The Army national field will consist of between 21 and 35 schools. The seven brigades with JROTC programs will each hold brigade-level competitions earlier in the year and advance three to five schools to the Louisville meet.

The Army nationals are expected to mirror the eastern and western region meets. It will feature armed and unarmed divisions, and winners will earn berths in the national meet in Daytona.

Officials will work with brigades to ensure those competitions parallel the higher-level meets, so Cadets don't have to re-learn or re-work their routines to conform to different standards.

This article appeared in the September 2011 edition of The Cadet magazine.