Drill Team

Murugi Thande

Azeezat Adeleke, News Editor

At North Point, the sharp navy blue suits and gleaming medals of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (AFJROTC) are impossible to miss as students move about the hallways. An essential component of the AFJROTC is its Drill Team, comprised of fifty students from all grade levels who practice military commands both armed and unarmed, along with a color guard that competes with both rifles and flags.

“Most JROTC units have teams that compete based on discipline, teamwork, and communication,” said Senior Master Sergeant Hartfield, who instructs the Drill Team, which is led by Joe Rosasco (’11), group commander, Terrance Hayes (’12), unarmed team commander, and Deveraux Smith (‘12), armed team commander.

Competitions are held every two months and the team members undergo physical training before each one. Events include activities such as relays and tug-of-war. “Whether you’re large or small, you can find something to do,” Hartfield pointed out.

“The team has gotten off to a good start,” remarked Hartfield. They secured first place overall at a competition at Howard University on October 20 and at La Plata’s Field Day on October 30. “It’s unusual that we finished that well,” he added.

“Competing is the best feeling in the world for me because after long hours of practice and hard work, it is finally time to perform,” commented Hayes, whose responsibilities include training team members, ensuring the well being of his subordinates, and maintaining records. “Just before you go on, you can feel the pressure mounting and you get very nervous, but when you are on the floor, nothing matters anymore…there is only time to react and do what you trained to do.”

Hartfield stressed that members of the team grow stronger not just in strength, but also in leadership and academics. Hayes concurred, stating that he would recommend joining Drill Team for anyone who has a desire to perform, succeed, explore, test their leadership skills and contribute to a winning team.