Gloucester High MCJROTC drills its way to 2nd place at Nationals

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Mayara Olivera

GHS's Drill Team at Nationals in Daytona, Florida

SAMANTHA GROSS, Staff Writer

OOH RAH for the Gloucester High School MCJROTC for placing 2nd overall for Unarmed Drill at Nationals.

This year, Gloucester made its comeback at nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. The GHS Drill Team competed against 33 other schools in the Challenge Level Division which took place on Friday, May 4th at the Ocean Center.

“Going into the competition, the only team I knew was Reading High School,” said Drill Captain and Cadet Commanding Officer Soo Ae Ono. “In the past we have done different events with them and have participated in each others’ drill competitions.

“The arena felt surreal to me, especially because that’s where nationals was held my freshman year,” continued Ono. “It gave me the opportunity to reflect on the past four years and how much all of the seniors and myself have grown since then.”

The events Gloucester competed in were Unarmed Inspection, Unarmed Regulation, Unarmed Color Guard, and Unarmed Exhibition.

“Inspection was our first event. I felt proud of the team because they sounded off and were confident despite not knowing all of their knowledge. After we did regulation, it was an exciting yet sad moment because it would be the last time I would be commanding,” said Ono.
Overall, I felt very proud of the team.”

For a fairly new team, Gloucester managed to be runner up for National Champions in the Unarmed Competition.

“We placed second out of 33 schools, something I would have never imagined,” said Ono. “It was an overwhelming experience. I credit everything to the Master Sergeant who continuously motivated and encouraged us to do our best.”

Cadets took a lot of time to prepare for the biggest Drill competition of the year.

“It was really satisfying to see all the kids’ hard work culminate with the recognition they received in front of the thousands of people in attendance,” said Gloucester Drill Coach and Marine Instructor Master Sergeant Carcel DuBose.

“Each of them have invested so much time and effort to get to where we are now,” said Ono. The team, despite our differences, is a family. From waking up at 3:30 AM to do hair to being stressed and nervous about completion, these past four years have been worth it and I am honored to have been the captain of the drill team for the past two years. They truly made the GHS MCJROTC and Gloucester proud.”