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NEWS | Sept. 28, 2023

AMCOM Soldiers assist local school at drill competition

By Michelle L. Gordon

Aviation and Missile Command Soldiers from Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, served as graders during New Century Technology High School’s third annual JROTC Invitational Drill Meet, held in September in Huntsville, Alabama.

Five schools from throughout the state participated in the competition, which included armed and unarmed drill and ceremony events, a knowledge bowl and a knockout drill. It was supposed to include an Army Physical Fitness Test, but the poor weather conditions canceled that portion of the event.

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Hawk, AMCOM future initiatives group noncommissioned officer, inspected cadets and tested their knowledge.

“I was primarily looking for compliance with established regulations and attention to detail,” he said. “Additionally, I wanted to identify potential areas for improvement and address issues that may have arisen during the inspection by either talking with the student or ensuring that they asked their teammates for help. Overall, the questions were designed to assess their knowledge and encourage students to work together if they did not know an answer.”

Following inspection, the cadets moved to unarmed regulation drill, which entailed performing regulation drill sequences. Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Cady, who works in the AMCOM command group, was one of the graders.

“We were looking for precision in the execution of the marching movements in a platoon unarmed format,” he said. “Specifically, that the commands were given in a confident manner on the proper step, and the formation moved and reacted in accordance with the platoon leader’s instruction and [the drill and ceremony regulations]. Each platoon performed with regular Army precision and timing. I had the difficult task of finding imperfections in their movements as they were conducted at a very high level. Every platoon was expertly trained and displayed exceptional professionalism and pride in their drill.”

The top teams took home awards for each category. Regardless of the results, the AMCOM Soldiers were happy to participate and pass on their knowledge to the future force.

“Events like this are important because they not only build community bonds but also help shape the future leaders within that community,” Hawk said. “I know not all these students will choose to serve in the Army, but every one of them will serve the community they live in, so I think it’s important that we help develop their leadership skills, teamwork, and accountability.”