Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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NJROTC prepares for conference championship

As you march through the gym, arms steady, holding an American flag, you feel the pressure of the crowd and the judges watching you–silently analyzing every move you make. Your heart is beating through your chest, yet on the outside you are calm–your movements indistinguishable from the three other cadets walking alongside you. A single mistake, whether it be taking a step too early, or making an improper hand movement, could detract points from your school, costing you the first place finish.

These experiences are some that many Liberty NJROTC cadets share, as they once again prepare for the state conference which takes place on March 16 at Oregon City High School.

Every year, the top participants in Liberty’s NJROTC teams practice and compete for a chance to make it to the conference championship. This year, after breezing through the qualifying rounds, Liberty’s NJROTC is confident that they will continue to show great results at the conference championship.

“Our school is kind of like the Tom Brady of NJROTC,” junior Alex Le said. “Everybody hates us because we’re just too good.”

In order to qualify for the conference championship, cadets pick one or more teams that they plan to stick with throughout the school year, such as drill, armed drill, marksmanship, color guard, or academics. While the teams don’t necessarily compete in a physical environment like football or soccer, they need to be extremely well-coordinated in order to be effective.

“We have 19 people on our armed drill team,” junior Seth Orton said. “Being able to work cohesively with all of them can sometimes prove to be a challenge, but we all work through it.”

To deal with this challenge, cadets are strongly encouraged to attend as many practices as possible throughout the year, which strengthens their ability to work as a team and perform in their event with precision. While these practices are time consuming and challenging for all cadets, they are especially difficult for those doing multiple events.

Senior Allison Marckel, a Lieutenant Commander for NJROTC, explained that due to her participation in nearly every event that the school has to offer, she has to attend nearly four hours of practice every single day–some of which takes place early in the morning before school.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the challenges that each cadet must face in order to compete, there is no doubt that their hard work leads to success. For the last four years, Liberty’s NJROTC team has made it to and placed well in the conference competition due to their strict and effective training program, and have won an impressive 17 regular season drill meets in a row–their latest win being February 10 of this year.

“In recent years we’ve been focusing a lot on drill teams, which in the past have not really been that great,” senior Allison Marckel said. “We have tryouts for our teams now and they are put to a higher standard, practicing after school each day.”

Overall, despite the challenges that each cadet faces, Liberty’s NJROTC team is confident that they will be able to prove themselves once again at the conference championship. However, no matter the result, NJROTC cadets from all schools will respect one another for all of the hard work they have put in throughout the year.

“I really enjoy seeing the other schools and the other cadets,” senior Eowyn Ream said. “NJROTC is like its own little community.”


About the Contributor
William Sweeney
William Sweeney, News Editor
William Sweeney is a junior at Liberty High School and one of the news editors for the Patriot Press. He enjoys spending time with family, playing chess, and playing video games.