DVIDS – News – Leadership in Action: JROTC cadets showcase teamwork and knowledge at national competition

School may be out for the summer, but studies haven’t stopped for hundreds of JROTC cadets in preparation for the Junior Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) held this week in Washington D.C.

“We studied all night some days, and we certainly put a lot of blood and sweat and tears into it,” said Stephanie Shen, a rising senior from Francis Lewis High School. “Well, no blood, but definitely a lot of hard work.”

For more than 200 JROTC high school students, more than a year of study and competition converges on the two JLAB events – the Army JROTC Leadership Bowl taking place June 19-22 and the All-Service JROTC Academic Bowl taking place runs from June 24 to 27.

Of the 3,500 high schools participating in the competitions, the top 40 Army JROTC programs and the top 48 all-service JROTC programs travel to Washington DC to show off their leadership and academic skills on a national level.

“In Junior ROTC, we teach leadership in the classroom, but what they really get out of it is the extracurricular events…that [competition] is another niche for kids who really enjoy the leadership part and the academics,” said Lt. Col. Casey Geist, director of the Army JROTC. “We can tell everyone how to be a leader in the classroom, but this is an opportunity to get out there, practice what they’re doing, get feedback, and learn how to develop those social learning skills. – emotional with other students – how to lead teams and be effective.

The competition begins with the Army JROTC Leadership Bowl, where cadets experience situations that encourage thinking outside the box to communicate and solve problems as a team.

Staff Sgt. (Ret.) Marchantia Johnson is a teacher at Theodore Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, Texas. She works with her cadets all year in preparation for this event. It’s not something that can be absorbed overnight.

“It’s a lot of work, a lot of study and a lot of learning about teamwork,” she says.

“Throughout the year, they learn the knowledge of JROTC, and then they’re challenged with that information when they come here,” Johnson adds. “Children have to work together. It showcases their leadership, it showcases their teamwork and their ability to be able to communicate with each other to complete a task.

With nearly a year of study and preparation for this moment, the cadets are ready to develop the skills they have been honing and developing since the fall.
“It’s important to show our teamwork, not just cadet intelligence, but to show how we can work together and use our leadership to influence others,” said Priscilla Yao, a rising junior at the school. Francis Lewis Secondary.

“We have been preparing for this competition all year, and now we are here and we are so happy to have arrived here,” she added.

For many cadets, the excitement of competition is compounded by being away from home (many for the first time) and from their parents.

Some teams have even crossed an ocean for the opportunity to compete.
“We certainly don’t have a lot of trips like this, so it’s pretty exciting,” said Yannic Miranda, an aspiring senior from Ansbach Secondary School in Ansbach, Germany.

Even though their team is small – just three people – Miranda and teammate Alexander Pohlman, a junior, both feel prepared for competition thanks, in large part, to their character development at JROTC throughout the year.

“JROTC is really about thinking outside the box and really growing,” Pohlman said. “You show yourself as a good leader and you become confident in informing others and helping them.”

JROTC is one of the largest character development and citizenship programs for young people in the world. The programs are run by retired military personnel, hired by individual school districts, to teach a curriculum that offers challenging academic content and real-world experiences to help students develop a sense of personal responsibility as they go through the different stages of life.

Date taken: 20.06.2022
Date posted: 20.06.2022 16:35
Story ID: 423378
Location: DC, United States

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