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Drilling out the competition

Melissa Wrobel, journalism student

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Cadets attend Oklahoma drill competition

Midwest City, Okla.– A single bead of sweat glides down the face of Honor Guard Commander Kaitlin Dowling as the familiar rhythmic beat of heavy leather shoes echo throughout the halls of Carl Albert High School. Recent tips, provided by team members, swarm her mind as she recalls the complicated routine, early Feb. 20.

Lieutenant Colonel Harry W. Wilbanks, Master Sergeant Lisa Breuer and fellow cadets showed their support by attending the different team performances, which were located at various areas around the high school.

“At this particular meet, the school hosting the competition placed the competing teams in very accessible spots,” Dowling said.

Drill meet competitions contain different objects, such as rifles, sabres or flags, to assist the multiple teams in winning a trophy.

“When not performing or practicing, I made sure that the other teams were okay and had everything they needed to perform to the best of their abilities,” Dowling said. “Teamwork makes the dream work!”

Team commanders are required to inspect their team member’s uniform at least two days before competition, along with establish additional practices for their individual groups, if necessary.

“The days leading up to competition can be stressful,” Dowling said. “The team commanders and I have to make sure that our teams are fully prepared for the events, starting from the drill sequences, all the way up to packing up uniforms.”

Every group rehearses at Honor Guard on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“Honor Guard is where we [cadets] get time to practice as teams, learn our [team’s] routines, and drill for competition,” sophomore Katherine Bates said.

Currently, Colonel Wilbanks and Sergeant Breuer are awaiting for the official scores.

“We [AFJROTC] have two upcoming competitions, one in North Mesquite and another in Corsicana,” Bates said.

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Drilling out the competition