On June 22-26, cadets from the Union County High School Yellow Jacket Battalion competed in the George C. Marshall Leadership and Academic Bowl in Washington, D.C.
The team members who attended were Avery Hyatt, Meagan Hames, Alana Wright, and Team Captain Michael Leigh. The team started their preparation the beginning of last school year. They passed two levels of preliminary tests and became national finalists, meaning they are in the top 40 Army JROTC units out of 1,700 units in the entire nation.
To prepare for their tests, they practiced every day by answering questions from the JROTC Curriculum in the Classroom Performance System (CPS). Their scores were sent in to The College Options Foundation and earned the right to go back to DC for the fith consecutive time. Only one other school has matched this record.
After they had been confirmed to go to Level III, they were given several assignments and tasks to complete that would be graded and factored into their final standing. The team had to read two books about the lives of George C. Marshall and Douglas MacArthur, along with three units out of the JROTC curriculum. Eventually, the time came for the team to depart for Washington.
After the opening ceremony, the team was placed into their group with several different schools from all over the country including Texas, Virginia, and South Carolina. The team was given the opportunity to tour Washington while researching their assigned monument, the World War II Memorial. They then had to complete several tasks including making a video, writing an essay, organizing a picture show, making a PowerPoint presentation, and interviewing other cadets, tourists, and World War II veterans to gather quotes.
On Sunday, the team competed for the final time against all other teams. The test was made up of 35 multiple choice questions on the computer, and 25 questions on paper.
“Our placement does not matter to me, but I am glad we were given this opportunity and gave it 110 percent,” Team Captain Michael Leigh said. “The fact that we did our best is better than any trophy or medal.”
Despite their efforts, they did not match the performance of last year’s Union team which placed second in the nation. However, the ideals, principles and bonds of friendship the team experienced are more valuable than any trophy or medal you can receive. Each member learned something that has helped strengthen their leadership skills and their own values.
The team is already planning for the 2012-2013 Leadership and Academic Bowl, with the goal of repeating 2010, when Union County was one of six schools in the nation to send both a Leadership and an Academic Team to the national finals.