JROTC Cadet Involvement


Drill team? What drill team? This is exactly what AK-033 (West High JROTC program)

has been saying for the past 4 or 5 years. AK-033 has not competed or even let alone had a drill

team for the past few years. Why is this some may ask? Others may ask what is a drill team? Well a drill is a small group of cadets (9 to 12) who march and do various movements, and then they can compete around the state or even nationally.

First off, AK-033 used to be drill champions, taking second and first place in national competitions. Now AK-033 has not taken home trophies from any competitions, state or nationally. Even though they competed last year with a color guard team they did not place. There are many theories on why this is.

Last year we had a drill team but cadets stopped showing up to practice for some reason. Some say the commander was not a good commander. “In my opinion she was a little too harsh and severe and at the same time she was she was a little bit of both. Like she cared a lot but at the same time she didn’t,” said Cody Muzzana, a AK-033 cadet.

There is another theory on why cadets don’t participate, this one is simple: drill practice starts at 6:00 in the morning and can be three to five days a week. This means cadets would have to be up by 5:30 at the latest. Edmund Luciano, who is also the Corps Commander stated, “I have other things in my life and if it’s in the morning I could see how that could be an issue.” This is early for just going there to march around. AK-033 has thought of making the practice after school but then realized half of the students take the bus after school but could almost all of them could make it in the morning. So the answer was simple. Make practice at 6:00 a.m. and the cadets would just have to suck it up and go early if they wanted to make the team.

Leadership is one of the key parts of the drill team. Without leadership there is little to no enthusiasm or motivation. If drill practice is not fun, then no one will show up. The major question is, how do you make marching around on the gym floor fun? A lot of people wonder why or how the drill team back then made drill practice fun. “If you have good leadership that keeps you motivated and keeps a good teamwork going,” Edmund stated. The other thing is, other schools have both drill teams and color guard teams. They never seem to have a shortage of cadets. No one really seems to have a solution to this problem.

With the competitions coming up in January, AK-033 is running out of time to practice . The competitions are going to be held at Eagle River, Colony and Service High School. So far the Corps has a drill team and color guard team and is practicing every morning. They have over a dozen cadets showing up and that is great. What ever the commander is doing, he is doing it correctly or is it just that the cadets are just dedicated or both? Hopefully AK-033 can back on the track they were on a few years back.