JROTC to perform at Corsicana drill meet on March 4


Henry Pham

Cadets prepare in front of buses as they wait for the armed drill march at the Waco meet Jan. 28.

JROTC will compete at a drill meet starting at 10 a.m. at Corsicana High School on March 4. Over 20 schools in Texas will attend and the armed, unarmed, color guard and physical training drill teams will compete in their respective drills throughout the day.

“[This program] teaches kids to think for themselves and [introduces] a level of accountability,” commander Ed Morales said. “We let the drill teams run themselves and practice, with myself and petty officer Harold Wilcox only providing oversight.”

A few weeks prior to every meet, the teams get cards with instructions for the official drill to be performed at the competition. Team captains of each respective drill team lead practices in the following weeks in order to prepare.

A separate inspection portion of a given meet will consist of questions asked by an inspector over respective drills and military customs and an inspection of uniforms. In the armed drill meet, armed captain March Gonzales, wielding a sword, will lead an armed regulation march of nine cadets with rifles.

“For [armed drill,] we’ll march out and perform our routine in front of the judges,” Gonzales said. “There is usually an inspection portion at meets [for all teams], but not this time. Since we are only competing for regulation, I’ll be in charge of the team the whole time.”

JROTC previously attended meets in Fort Worth and Waco, placing 10th place in Waco. Corsicana will mark the program’s third and final meet of the school year. 

“I think [our team] will do pretty well,” Morales said. “I tell the kids, ‘your level of effort at the drill meet is based on your level of effort at practice.’ And even then, if you practice really hard, it doesn’t necessarily mean [your expectations will come true]; that is where integrity and discipline to keep practicing and to self-motivate will come in.”