Raider Commander D'Angelo Luna and Cadet Wesley Warren stand together after the Raiders win Most Improved. The Raiders won this award during the first meet of the year in November. Photo by Mallory Cox.

At Pocahontas State Park this past November, JROTC Raider teams from numerous high schools across the state met for the first meet of the school year to participate in a competition.  This competition involved completing various tasks, all of which demanded high physical capacity from the cadets involved.  The PGHS Raiders were able to take home a Most Improved trophy.

The many tasks performed by cadets include a push-up and sit-up test (or a PT Test), a two mile run, the rope bridge climb, first aid, truck pull, land navigation, and at the end, a 5K.

While these are grueling and challenging tasks, the Raiders feel that they are well prepared physically for these different events.

“Personally, I prepare for these events by drinking plenty of water beforehand,” Cadet Justin Austin said.

Another approach to preparing for competition is taken by Cadet Wesley Warren, who considers mental training just as important.

Raider Commander D'Angelo Luna and Cadet Wesley Warren stand together after the Raiders win Most Improved. The Raiders won this award during the first meet of the year in November. Photo by Mallory Cox.
Raider Commander D’Angelo Luna and Cadet Wesley Warren stand together after the Raiders win Most Improved. The Raiders won this award during the first meet of the year in November. Photo by Mallory Cox.

“I prepare myself physically and mentally before these events by training constantly,” Warren said.

One of the key focuses of the JROTC Raider team is to prepare cadets not only physically and mentally for the real world, but also to instill leadership experience into the cadets.

“The best part of being a Raider in Prince George is that I can experience a role of leadership,” Raider Commander D’Angelo Luna said.

With all of their training and practice, the Raiders team was able to come home with a Most Improved trophy.  Seeing as the Raiders team has not placed in many recent events, this was a particularly triumphant victory.

The team was ecstatic for their placement in only their first meet of the year.  This win has encouraged them to practice even harder for competitions in the future.

“Placing in the event at Pocahontas State Park has allowed us to realize that all of our hard work and practice has paid off and that we are adding on to the already historic Prince George JROTC way of winning,” Warren said.

Members of the Raiders team already had respectable and lofty goals set for this year, making this placement a momentum and motivational booster for future events.

“I believe that through our practice and hard work we can not only achieve new heights as a team in future events, but also teach upcoming members the ins and outs of the Raiders team by instilling a high level of excellence into their work habits,” Warren said.

Although these Raiders train extensively throughout the year, they all believe that when it comes down to what they enjoy the most about JROTC, it is the relationships and experience for the future.

“My favorite part of competing in these events is simply hanging out with some friends, meeting new people, and just being able to experience one of the best JROTC programs in the state,” Luna said.

“The best part of being on the Raiders team and in JROTC in general is taking a part in leadership and knowing that I have found my destiny,” Austin said.