North Forsyth High School’s Marine Corps JROTC continues in its award-winning tradition, recently bringing home honors from the All Service JROTC Drill Meet at the Georgia Military College in Milledgeville.
On Saturday, March 25, North’s team travelled to the school, where they competed in seven events against six other Georgia high schools.
“Like every year, this is a joint military drill competition,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Randy Merritt, who oversees the drill team. “What’s unique about this, though, is it brings together all branches; it’s not just the Marine Corps. Navy, Army and Air Force [cadets] also compete.”
The events, which included an academic bowl, a PT competition, Color Guard drills and individual and dual exhibitions, among others, were scored based on performance.
North’s JROTC has been competing in the meet for years, this year winning second place overall, Merritt said.
Last year, they placed third in the overall competition.
While there are usually seven events, Merritt said only five drills count towards the overall score.
Individual cadets can also choose to participate in single or dual events, though each represents his or her school.
In total, North’s JROTC won two first place trophies, four second place trophies and one third place trophy.
The team has 26 cadets total: 18 males and eight females, ranging from freshmen to seniors.
“We’re trying to teach these kids how to work as a team. Our main purpose is instantaneous obedience to orders,” Merritt said. “We want to teach them leadership and discipline, but the overall goal is for them to learn life skills, set goals and just work hard.”
In April, the team will travel to Irving, Texas, to compete in the first-ever Marine Corps national drill competition.
North is one of 15 high schools in the nation to compete, and its JROTC program is a Naval Honor School.
The title is awarded to the top 20 percent of Navy and Marine Corps JROTC units in the country.