JROTC to compete in National High School Drill Team Championships


Courtesy of Ivan Alvira

JROTC at the recent ROTC Pacific Rim Drill Meet at McKinley High School.

Waipahu High School’s JROTC cadets are set to compete in the National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida on May 6. A group of 26 students will be competing in the championships during their trip to Florida from May 3-10. They will also be traveling to Disney World, The Kennedy Space Center, and high school campuses in Florida.

In preparation for the championships, the cadets have been refining their practices and routines for three hours, three times a week, with some attending practices before school. As the trip approaches, these will increase to daily practices. They have been memorizing commands and routines in preparation for both regulation and exhibition judging.

In addition, cadets have also been concentrating on improving their mindset and readiness for competition.  Yanni Roy Caballero, a junior in the Academy of Industrial & Engineering Technology, shares some ways JROTC is improving their performance: “One big thing I learned is you’re going to make a lot of mistakes, and you can’t let those mistakes affect you. You have to move past them and learn from them. Or else you’re just going to stay in one spot. Another thing is, especially when you’re competing, you can’t show weakness. You have to keep your bearing to stay professional at all times. Because you’re not only representing yourself but your battalion.” 

A fundraiser campaign for the trip has amassed over $20,000 in online and in-person donations with many encouraging and uplifting messages for the team. JROTC instructor Sergeant Ivan Alvira expresses thanks to those who have donated and supported the team. “We want to thank the community for their support. We want to thank Hawaii News Now, The Rick Hamada Show, and KITV for putting our story out there and highlighting our cadets on their television shows and radio programs,” Alvira says.