Rota’s Dr. Rita H. Inos Jr./Sr. High School and Saipan Southern High School cadets dominated the unarmed and armed categories, respectively, of the annual CNMI-PSS JROTC Drill Meet at Marianas High School last Saturday.
The Chamorro Buck Battalion and Manta Ray Battalion now prepare to represent the islands and compete against over 50 other teams at the National Drill Meet in Torrance, California.
Drill Meet Coordinator Command Sergeant Major Richard Basa told Saipan Tribune that 16 cadets from the winning teams will travel to the mainland in April accompanied by their JROTC instructors to compete in their respective categories.
Last year’s unarmed champions Tinian Jr./Sr. High School placed first in the Color Guard subcategory and competed alongside Marianas High School and Kagman High School as well.
The CNMI’s public schools competed in unarmed and armed drills comprised of inspection, color guard, platoon regulation, and exhibition drills.
“This means everything to us. For the past six months we have been practicing,” Rota Battalion Commander George Bisala said. “We went through many challenges but managed to pull through.”
First-year SSHS Cadet Second Lieutenant Collins Flores described the preparation for the tilt as “hell,” but felt relieved that “we finally did it through months of practice.”
Tinian Battalion Commander Jemima Cruz said that the performance level at the meet was “not what we expected.” She added, “We have not done it in a few years, but it was a great turnout overall.”
Basa explained that the primary aim of the drill meet is to develop good character and discipline in the students.
“When they are out there the kids become leaders in that formation. They have experience and leadership while they are doing the drills,” he said.
Yvonne R. Pangelinan, associate commissioner for Student & Support Services, lauded the cadets and their instructors for their hard work and dedication.
“Everybody put their heart and soul our there,” she said. “The kids really dug deep and put everything they had in the competition.”