Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Sgt. Brown

The cadet team and Sgt. Brown pose with their national award.

JROTC Cadets Make School History

On July 19, JROTC took a trip to Washington D.C. to the Catholic University of America to be tested on their leadership abilities as they competed against 40 other schools throughout the United States. Through their hard work and dedication during the week long event, they received an award on July 22 that marked JROTC history. 

With the event being a week long starting from July 19 and ending on July 22, the cadets were able to compete in several events being tested on different aspects of leadership. Even Carrie Brown, Sargent of the JROTC cadets, had a favorite activity that she enjoyed the most and will forever be the most memorable to her. 

“They had five different testing events starting with an Individual written test, then a few group tests with situation questions, testing their knowledge on the great leaders in military History (MacArthur, Marshall and Powell), and a Leaders Reactions Course just to name a few events,” Brown said. “The best part for me was the scavenger hunt throughout the National Mall ending with the changing of the Guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.”

Two military awards, both named after Military/ Army Leader Gen MacArthur and Marshall, were given to the cadets who competed in the event. Every team who competed in the JROTC Lab Leadership Bowl were presented with these awards. Brown was by the cadets’ side as they have received their award and truly takes in the appreciation for their hard work. 

“These two awards mean a great deal to me as they reflect the abilities that our young men and women have the potential of displaying great leadership skills in a difficult/adverse competition environment against different high schools nationwide,” Brown said.

Brown contributed in the efforts of creating the JROTC cadets into what they are today. Many hours were put into studying, truly preparing the individuals for the tests to come. The passion was overwhelming as their goal was set and they met it with hard work and dedication.

“Well leading up to the different phase of the test we would study after school for about an hour to an hour and a half. Once we found out we phased to the National level we up’ed the practice time to 3 days a week during school for an 1 1/2 hours then once school was out we started to study in the early morning at 9-12,” Brown said. “Then the week prior to leaving we studied everyday for several hours. So you could say we did a lot of study and very little free time and I do believe it paid off as we are #1 in Alabama.”

Senior Dalton Garner, a member of the team, enjoyed the experience and agreed with Brown that the team put in many hours of practice to win big. 

“We practiced almost all school year and then over the summer the last week before competition we practiced for 4 hours each day. We got to the airport and we’re practicing,” Garner said. “We practiced the night before the competition in the hotel.”

When the cadets finally received their award, Brown was truly content with their overall performance, giving the cadets recognition for their work. She truly felt that it was an amazing experience. Her great deal of pride for them is abundant as they continue to move forward, accomplish and overcome more challenges in JROTC history.

“I was excited for all the cadets that received the awards, but I was truly more excited for your Sparkman cadets to receive these awards, because it was the first time in program history that we have made it to that level of competition,” Brown said. “Then I was even more excited when I realized that we were the only Alabama school in the top 10 and also placing seventh overall in the nation. 


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