Hickory, N.C. — Drill Sergeants from the 3rd Bn. 518th Inf. Regt., 98th Training Division (IET), acted as competition judges for the annual 4th Brigade Best of the Best JROTC Drill Competition held Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, N.C. High school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets from seven states along the east coast competed in a variety of drill and ceremony events to demonstrate their proficiency and discipline with both individual and unit parade and ceremony marching.
Throughout the course of the day various events took place to include— Inspection, Regulation Drill, Color Guard and Exhibition Drill. Each high school performed their routines and at the end of the day were assessed in several categories based off of their individual or unit’s precision, military bearing, confidence, and creativity.
Drill Sergeant Bingham compares scores with his fellow Drill Sergeants to ensure fair and consistent scoring took place after a JROTC unit performance.
Prior to the awards ceremony, a mass knockout drill was conducted as an additional bit of fun for both the cadets and Drill Sergeants. During the awards ceremony, Airport High School from West Columbia, South Carolina placed 1st overall at the competition and will move on to compete at the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky in April.
The Drill Sergeants from the 3rd Bn. 518th Regt. were thoroughly impressed with the representation that was presented by all the cadets noting that it takes a great deal of self-discipline, courage, and mental agility to take on such a demanding extracurricular activity and in turn adding to the already busy academic and home life which many high school students already have.
“Some of these kids are pretty sharp. It takes a lot of practice to do what they do,” enthused Staff Sgt. Deaton.
Additionally, many Drill Sergeants remarked that they looked forward to potentially seeing some of the cadets again as future basic trainees as some of the cadets have already decided to or expressed interest in entering into the military. With a strong foundation for success already being cultivated at a young age these cadets represent the future leaders of the Army and the military as a whole. From speaking with Drill Sergeants between events and after the competition admiration was given on their overall performance.