Depot DIs supervise JROTC drill meet
By Lance Cpl. Dorian Gardner
| | May 12, 2006
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Depot Marines judged Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students who displayed their military precision and bearing at the sixth annual “Golden Bear’s National Drill Meet” April 29 in Pomona, Calif.
Marines from the depot and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., as well as airmen, seamen and soldiers came together during the competition to observe and judge proper execution over the event’s 16 drill areas. The stations included armed and unarmed drill, regulation, exhibition, color guard, four-person armed drill, four-person sabers and novice categories.
The drill competition hosted 52 schools from around the nation, said Raul Duran, event coordinator. According to Duran, 12 schools dropped from the competition because of scheduling conflicts, and a few schools already added their names to the list for next year’s competition.
Duran said he takes occasions like this very seriously because the students put a lot of hard work into the drill meet.
“Events like this are important because there are not too many activities teaching the ethical values that we try to instill in our young men and women,” said Duran.
The morning of the meet, drill instructors arrived early and sat in on a brief explanation of the competition. Duran set guidelines and boundaries in order to keep the experience enjoyable for the kids.
Spread throughout the competition, Marines stood alone and teamed with other service members to judge different categories.
Gunnery Sgt. Luis Atkins was the first Marine many of the JROTC participants met. At 8 a.m., the kids got a motivating wake-up call when the M Company chief drill instructor displayed his extreme volume and ability to execute a proper inspection.
The competition also brought family members and recruiters. With static displays like Army vehicles and a Marine Corps obstacle course, recruiters took advantage by handing out cards and attracting new applicants.
Antoine McNair attended the competition for the first time this year and loved the military presence.
McNair said he is tired of living the “so-called” disobedient life where everybody thinks he doesn’t listen to anything.
“I took a year off from basketball just to learn how to drill,” said the 6-foot, 3-inch underclassman.
His favorite parts of the competition were exhibition and inspection. The inspection gained his favor because of the drill instructors’ intensity, but exhibition captured him because it brought together so many unique routines. McNair said he was curious to see who would be declared the best.
With more schools coming out for 2007’s drill competition, rifle routines and uniforms are already being prepared.