While the Leavenworth High School Junior ROTC program has hosted a drill meet in the past, it’s been so long that officials are treating an upcoming event as the school’s first drill championship competition.
Students in the JROTC program regularly compete in drill meets at other schools. And the local JROTC battalion has hosted drill meets for junior guards from elementary and middle schools.
But Jan. 12, the Leavenworth High School JROTC battalion will host a competition for JROTC teams from 16 other high schools. Retired Lt. Col. David Black, senior Army instructor for the local JROTC program, said the last time Leavenworth High School hosted this type of event was 15 or 16 years ago.
The drill competition is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 12 at Leavenworth High School, 2012 10th Ave. It is open to the public and there’s no admission charge.
As is tradition for host schools, teams from Leavenworth High School will not be competing in the drill meet. But local JROTC students still will be performing for the public.
Black said members of the community generally don’t have the opportunity to see the local JROTC teams perform. They also don’t get to see the level of performance that is common for drill meets.
“So we want the community to see what a drill meet looks like,” he said.
Leavenworth High School’s honor guard with weapons and honor guard without weapons will be performing at noon Jan. 12. Black said the teams will be performing their new exhibition routines, and they’ll be appearing in their new uniforms.
If there’s time, a team of first-year drillers also will perform a regulation routine. Black said a regulation routine involves marching in the same manner that soldiers do in the Army. He said exhibition routines are more freestyle.
Black said schools participating in the drill meet will be coming from as far away as Illinois. He said some of the schools are considered to be in the top 10 in the nation in terms of JROTC drill teams.
Leavenworth High School has an Army JROTC program. But other branches of the military will be represented by the schools that will be competing Jan. 12.
During the drill meet, the parent support group for the local JROTC battalion will be having a silent auction.
Black said officials plan to make the Leavenworth High School drill meet an annual event.
“It will just be better next year,” he said.
And while the JROTC Pioneer Battalion is based at Leavenworth High School, the program includes students from other local high schools.