63 students representing the AFJROTC Drill Teams from Lee’s Summit West, Lee’s Summit North, and Lee’s Summit High School traveled to Branson, Missouri to compete in the November 23rd Branson High School Drill Meet. As they piled onto school buses and headed off to join 18 other schools from Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, they were thinking of the commands and maneuvers that they would soon be executing in front of military personnel volunteering as judges for the event. All 4 branches of the military, Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, were represented at the event.
Lee’s Summit students join the AFJROTC program for many reasons such as the activities offered, possible future career, and a general interest in the subject matter. Being part of the drill team is optional and takes a lot of hard work and hours of practice.
Cadets of all ages and ranks join together and are dedicated to making their drill team the best it can be.
Lee’s Summit North Cadet Captain Jacob Rogers has been in the program for 4 years. He was inspired to join after seeing a presentation by Cadets while he was in middle school. He feels "drill adds to the experience. It teaches life lessons and instills a sense of responsibility in the Cadets."
Lee’s Summit High School Cadet 2nd Lt Hannah Schloman joined the program with an interest in the Air Force or police work. She enjoys "the good friendship and family feeling within the group".
Lee’s Summit West Cadet 1st Lt Jordan Kaiser likes participating in drill meets because it "gives him an opportunity to interact with other Cadets that he would not meet otherwise."
After a day of group competitions, the event ended with an Individual Drill Down. 200 Cadets from all the schools made it to the finals and stepped out onto the gym floor to see who was best at following commands.
When the IDD was down to 90 Cadets, there were still 18 from the Lee’s Summit area standing tall. With just 42 Cadets remaining, Lee’s Summit was still in the running with 9 Cadets.
It came down to the wire with 14 Cadets, 5 Lee’s Summit Cadets all from Lee’s Summit West remained in the competition.
Among the top 10 were 3 from Lee’s Summit West, Cadet Sr Airman Chance Glover in 10th place, Cadet 2nd Lt Liz Lewis in 2nd place, and Cadet Staff Sgt Abbi Apeldoorn in 1st place.