AFJROTC Returns From National Competition


Natalia Alamdari, Editor-in-Chief

AFJROTC competed in the United States Air Force Academy National Invitational Drill Meet in Colorado Springs, Colo. this weekend.

Competing against 22 other high schools and two colleges, the team placed first in Unarmed Inspection, third in Armed Regulation and third in Armed Exhibition. The team did not bring back a ninth consecutive national title, having won either an Unarmed or Armed sweepstakes in the past.

“The fact that we didn’t bring a sweepstakes award home this year is considerable motivation for us to move forward and try next year,” Colonel Daniel Crum said. “I don’t have any reservations that what we did was great this year. There were some errors. You can’t put on a demonstration without errors.”

Senior Michael Parker said the competition was bittersweet culmination to the season for senior members.

“None of us would have asked to make this journey with any other team,” Parker said. “Since we have become accustomed to being crowned national champions, facing the reality of getting second was hard at first and we all cried our hearts out, but after all of that was over, we ended the trip in good spirits. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we gave it everything we had. We have shed blood, sweat and tears, literally, for this sport over the last eight months and we are proud of each and every accomplishment that we received.”

According to Crum, AFJROTC competitions are incredibly challenging, with criteria focusing on technique, level of difficulty and precision.

“One of the things we teach everybody, all the time, not just in competition, in the military lifestyle, is attention to detail,” Crum said. “There’s a very finite spread in points when it comes to things of a competitive nature of this sort. Judges are usually evaluating from three different angles on the floor when they’re out there. They don’t always agree on what they see as far as techniques and level of difficulty. That adds to the difficulty and sorting out the scores. The spread can be as little as two or three points or as much as 25 points between teams.”

Individual winners were Cody Steverson with second place in Individual Unarmed Regulation Drill, Compton Stocki with third place in Individual Regulation, and Nick Emmert with third place as Outstanding Commander.