When she puts on the uniform of the Cavalry Angels and marches into an auditorium with her teammates, Brooklynn Sieg feels a unique sense of pride.
“It’s like a badge of honor,” Sieg said. “People know who we are.”
That’s because the Cavalry Angels have built a recent reputation as a national contender in the JROTC ranks.
The Cavalry Angels have qualified for the national meet the last four years and will return to this year’s event in May in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Cavalry Angels consist of one commander and 16 members who are “on the block” in various marching formations.
The squad practices about six hours each week during the school year learning intricately synchronized marches and techniques.
“There are mistakes, but they are very minimal,” said Ken Scillieri, senior Army instructor at Leavenworth High School.
He said mistakes could be if a row was not in exact alignment or if movements were not perfectly synchronized.
Sieg said the audience might not recognize subtle mistakes by the Cavalry Angels, “but we know and the judges know.”
Scillieri said the Cavalry Angels have performed in four events this spring and have finished in first place in each one.
“They are known everywhere they go,” Scillieri said. “Other teams sit and watch to see what the Cavalry Angels are doing. They are very highly regarded.”
Sieg said it is rewarding to compete on the team and “to be part of something bigger than yourself.”
The Cavalry Angels are one of 13 different teams participating in the JROTC program at Leavenworth High School. All told, there are approximately 315 students involved, far and away more than the total numbers of any other program at the high school.
Sieg and the rest of the drill team will attend – but not compete in – the seventh annual Pioneer Drill Meet this weekend at Leavenworth High School.
The meet will take place in the main gymnasium, the alternate gymnasium and the school auditorium from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Approximately 650 cadets representing about 20 schools will be competing in the event.
The Leavenworth drill team does not compete in its own meets. Instead, team members help out running the meets.
Admission is free but refreshments will be available to purchase. There will also be a silent auction.
The event is a make-up of the event that was postponed due to wintery weather about a month ago. The original attendance was expected to have more than 1,000 participants.