Story by Paul Long, FLEACT, Yokosuka, Public Affairs
For the first time in school history, the Nile C. Kinnick High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC), Red Devil Drill Team won the Pacific Drill Championships held in Ewa, Hawaii, March 8.
The Kinnick NJROTC drill team bested 21 other schools in competition. They were named the overall winner after winning the Unarmed Exhibition category, and taking third place in the Armed Regulation, Unarmed Regulation, and Armed Exhibition categories.
“I couldn’t have been prouder of their hard work and sacrifice,” said David Grinstead, Sr., Kinnick NJROTC instructor and a retired U.S. Marine 1st Sgt. “Two drill championships down, and one to go.”
The Kinnick NJROTC drill team was chosen to represent the Far East in Hawaii after winning the 2014 Japan Regional Drill Championship Feb. 22 at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
According to Megumi Serdan, a senior and NJROTC Cadet Executive Officer, the drill team practices for two hours a day after school in preparation for these competitions.
“All of this hard work paid off because we won both competitions,” Serdan said.
Senior Cedrie Villacorta has been a member of the drill team for four years and is the captain for the Armed Exhibition part of the drill competition.
“I’ve been on the drill team for four years,” Villacorta said. “We’ve never had the opportunity to get this far in drill competition. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and I believe that in this upcoming competition; all of this drilling that we’ve done will pay off in the end.”
According to senior and NJROTC Drill Team Commanding Officer Ray Palania, the Kinnick squad is the team to beat at their next competition.
“Other schools are looking forward to seeing us, looking out for Kinnick, and are trying to beat us, and we don’t want to let that happen,” said Palania.
The next competition for the drill team will be the 2013-14 Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific Far East Drill Competition at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, March 23-26, where they will compete against 12 other schools from Japan, Guam, and Korea.