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Bob Jones AFJROTC excels at Jax State Drill meet

MADISON – Cadets in Bob Jones Air Force Junior ROTC claimed first-place awards at Jacksonville State University State Drill Competition.

Approximately 350 cadets from 20 different high schools entered the competition.

“Overall, Bob Jones cadets are the Unarmed Drill Champions for the State of Alabama. It was phenomenal. Next in our sights is the nationals that take place in May,” CMSgt. (ret.) Ellis Clark said. Clark coaches these students and works as an Aerospace Science Instructor at Bob Jones.

“Our team is not very big; thus, we only entered our teams in the unarmed category,” Clark said. “This drill meet was set up using the same parameters that are used at the national drill competition, so members in the unarmed category do not perform in the armed category.”

“The aforementioned requires a pretty big team. Members must execute the drill cards with precision. The team that executes best receives the top honors,” Clark said.

Bob Jones took second place in the Curriculum Bowl. “Bowl members take a test wherein they must prove their (understanding) regarding basic military knowledge, as well as customs and courtesies,” Clark said.

The cadets from Madison excelled in ‘unarmed’ categories in drill competition. “The unarmed category is very similar to the armed category. It’s just that regulation drill, inspection and exhibition drill are performed without using the replica rifles that drill teams use,” Clark said.

Bob Jones earned second place in Unarmed Regulation Inspection. During inspection, judges look to ensure uniforms are properly worn. Cadets, both male and female, must satisfy grooming standards.

“This can be a very challenging aspect of a competition because today’s youth really like to express themselves with trending hairstyles and lengths, as well as fingernail and hair coloring,” Clark said. “To have young cadets who comply with these standards is phenomenal. It makes preparing them for the corporate world a lot easier.”

During the Unarmed Exhibition Drill, in which Bob Jones won first place, cadets performed an entertaining series of maneuvers that they choreographed themselves. The routine must retain a military flavor and not appear to be ‘stomp’ or dance routine, Clark said.

Another first-place win went to Bob Jones in the Unarmed Regulation Drill. “Regulation drill is exactly that . . . Judges grade each team based on the manner and exactness of movements, whether while stationary or marching. Teams must march to the exactness of the regulation,” Clark said.

In addition, the Color Guard competed and earned first place. “All Color Guards perform the same routine as they must do at the national level,” Clark said.

Unarmed Color Guard competition consists primarily of properly uncasing the Colors (or flags), reporting in, ceremoniously presenting the Colors, several Colors reverses, left and right wheels and ‘eyes right.’ The team responds accordingly to the team commander who gives command and possesses the American flag.

Teams who enter Physical Training or PT are required to complete one minute of pushups, one minute of sit-ups and a two-mile run. The PT team consists of four members. The quantity of exercise and their run times are critical for the team’s results.

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