Written by Lieutenant Colonel Maurice Bolduc, Senior Army Instructor
As the 2016-2017 school year comes to a close for the Newsome JROTC “Wolfpack” Battalion there is much success to look back on, from celebrating the Battalion’s twelfth birthday in October to recognizing the accomplishments of over 150 Cadets at the Annual Awards Ceremony in April. The Battalion earned a record 44 trophies this year, conducted over 10,000 Community / Volunteer Service hours, and donated over 3,500 items in support of our community. With projected enrollment of over 270 Cadets (the largest ever), we are already looking forward to next year.
All six of our Special Teams competed at State level competition this year. The Mixed Raider Team retained their title as District Champions and placed 5th overall at State level competition. The JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB) Teams completed two rounds of competition setting a new record of “92 points” in the Academic category. The Drill Team’s Armed Regulation Platoon competed at the State level as did our Male Color Guard Team which placed 5th Overall, the highest ever for the Battalion at this State competition.
The Rifle Team remains undefeated at County level competition for the sixth straight year and brought home six State Level Championships. The Wolfpack Battalion stood up a Cyber Patriot Team this year after installing a 24 station computer lab in the main JROTC classroom. Cyber Attacks and protecting the internet from external hacking is a growing problem around the World and the Cyber Patriot Team learns how to combat these threats by taking appropriate actions to identify potential threats and emplacing measures that deny hackers from accessing their information. These are real world skills that this Country needs and we are preparing our Cadets to be competitive in this growing industry. Despite this being our first year in competition, the Cyber Patriot Team placed 1st Overall in the “Gold Tier” State Level Competition.
The following seven Cadets were selected to attend the Florida Youth Leadership Conference (YLC) in Tallahassee, Florida: Joseph Ahrens, Emma Custis, Alexander Bugielski, Dylan Renfro, Lauren Lewis, Mallory Hirn & Kristina Flynn. Cadets Mallory Hirn and Raquel Janes were selected to attend Girls State and Cadets Chris Pinedo and Alex Gubler were two of the five candidates selected to go to Boys State. Cadets Alexander Stevens and Justin Perez received 3 Year Army ROTC Scholarships and we have several Cadets enlisting in the various Branches of Military Service. Over 30 Newsome Cadets will attend a four day JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) Summer Camp in Lake Wales, Florida.
Over half of the Cadets received awards at the Annual JROTC Awards Ceremony held on April 25th in the Newsome Auditorium. Cadets receiving the Superior Cadet Award for their respective Class Year were: Freshman – Trinity Iwicki; Sophomore – Nikolas Davis; Junior – Dylan Renfro; and Senior – Walter Wahle. Cadet Wahle also received the Senior Leadership Award for contributing the most to Newsome JROTC over his four years in the program.
Next year’s Command & Staff were also announced at the end of the Ceremony. The SY 2017-2018 Wolfpack Battalion will be led by Cadets Mallory Hirn, Battalion Commander, and Oliver Musser, Battalion Command Sergeant Major.
For more information on upcoming and/or current events within the Wolfpack Battalion go to http://www.newsomejrotc.com/ or click on the JROTC link under the Programs tab on the Newsome High School homepage.