235th tests JROTC cadets with Lightning Warrior Challenge

| November 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
Mililani High School JROTC cadets struggle to pull a humvee uphill as Soldiers from the 25th ID offer motivaion during the Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge, recently.

Mililani High School JROTC cadets struggle to pull a humvee uphill as Soldiers from the 25th ID offer motivaion during the Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge, recently.

Story and photos by
Cadet Iris Corrales
Mililani Army Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps cadets from high schools across the island competed in the Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge, here, recently.

Sixteen local high school JROTC programs participated in the event, which was hosted by 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, and judged by noncommissioned officers from the surrounding Sgt. Audie Murphy Clubs (SAMC).

The event helped test the cadets’ leadership skills, physical fitness abilities and also helped to further develop their team-building processes.

Mililani High School JROTC Cadets (from left) Kayla Cosme, Lofa Fasavalu and Rebecca Israel evaluate and treat a combat casualty during the medical event portion of the Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge.

Mililani High School JROTC Cadets (from left) Kayla Cosme, Lofa Fasavalu and Rebecca Israel evaluate and treat a combat casualty during the medical event portion of the Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge.

Each school was allowed to enter two teams of three male and three female cadets.

“The focus of the event is to make it consistent across all schools that in order to complete each event, you had to finish as a team,” said Cadet Darius Usborne, Mililani Army JROTC. “I just moved here from England, and it was a great opportunity for me to compete with all these great cadets.

“I bonded so quickly with my team, I think I have made lifelong friends from just this one event,” Usborne added.

The competition pushed the cadets to their limits by testing them in four separate events: a Modified Physical Fitness Test (MPFT), medical testing, a Makahiki event and the Warrior Challenge.

The first challenge was the MPFT, which measures cadets’ overall strength and fitness level through challenges consisting of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, dips and a 1-mile run.

After finishing the MPFT, Cadets were given a magnetic compass and were required to navigate to their huts, where they were to spend the night.

Day two was to be the most challenging day of any of these cadets’ lives.

The first task was to conduct a 2-mile ruck march from Area X to Weyand Field, next to the Richardson Pool. Before beginning the ruck march, each cadet was weighed while wearing a ruck sack, which held between 15-20 pounds of essential supplies, including MREs, extra clothes and water. The required supplies were not only a part of the challenge; they were also a tool put in place to ensure everyone competing was enforcing the most important standard: safety.

“Our No. 1 priority is safety,” said Sgt. 1st Class Nelson Martinez, Junior Lightning Warrior Challenge NCO in charge, and SAMC, 25th ID.

“We had to make sure the cadet team leaders were enforcing cadets to hydrate on the move during the march,” Martinez added.

As soon as cadets arrived in timed intervals to Weyand Field, the medical event tested cadets on how to treat a casualty.

“I was able to use what I have learned this year in JROTC and apply it to this situation,” said Cadet Owen Miyahara, Mililani Army JROTC. “It was just a little more real, since I was the one to evaluate the casualty, while my other team members treated him.”

The third phase of the competition was the Makahiki event at Richardson Pool, which consisted of a relay swim, an underwater equipment recovery and a swimming challenge.

“I loved these events because I have been swimming for many years,” said Cadet Alec Lee, Mililani Army JROTC.

“I had no idea how demanding this Makahiki competition was going to be,” added Cadet Joy Sanchez, Mililani Army JROTC. “To work together as a team and finish as a team was what I got out of it. It really opened my eyes, and showed me, personally, some areas that I need to improve on, like swimming underwater.”

The fourth part of the competition was the Warrior Challenge, which was divided into separate events that began with an obstacle course.

“I enjoyed running through the course,” said Cadet Kayla Cosme, Mililani Army JROTC. “The Soldiers who guided us really motivated us to finish each leg of the course.”

To complete the Warrior Challenge, cadets endured physical fitness challenges most had never participated in, including flipping over a large tire, lifting a short telephone pole while going down on every other step to the ground and finally, finishing by successfully pulling a 5,200-pound vehicle uphill with a large rope.

The final event was held at Area X, where cadets constructed a rope bridge, threw a spear through several hoops, lifted 5-gallon water storage containers and did multiple sets of push-ups.

“Our goal is to get the cadets motivated and have a safe competition,” said Martinez. “Leaders set the example, and every one of these cadets are leaders. They never quit and motivated all of us from their determination and energy.

“Our focus is to get them to work as a team,” Martinez added. “You cannot accomplish these tasks by yourself, and that was our primary focus: to build teamwork.”

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Category: Community, Leadership

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