The moment ROTC cadets have been working towards


Barbra Medina

Centennial’s ROTC cadets take first place in the state competition, All Navy, preparing them for Nationals.

By: Valentina Medina
Bark! Voice of the Bulldogs
Staff writer

After five months of hard practice after school, ROTC cadets prepare for their five-day trip to Florida to compete in Nationals.

Their practices began in Sept of 2021, where they talked about the basics of drill, inspection, and uniform. Cadets stayed after school until about 3 p.m. They learned in-place drill movements, such as facing from left to right, the position of attention, parade rest, and hand salutes.

A few weeks later, they instructed them how to march as a squad, how to do columns and how to perform obliques.

Practices got longer, keeping cadets at school until around 4 pm. This change progressed to 5 pm, and now, starting on Mar 7, practice will be ending at 5:30 pm.

Cadets take part in physical training (PT) at practice, consisting of sit-ups, push-ups, and running. Additionally, they practice color guard, armed drill and unarmed drill.

All of this practice and hard work is preparing them for the Nationals competition, where they will compete against the top 25 schools in the Nation. The five-day trip takes place on Mar 30 through Apr 4.

“There are two actual competition days, two practice days, and one fun day where we get to go to the beach and buy merchandise,” senior Salome Medina said. We get to eat good food too- we get to go to The Golden Corral buffet place for breakfast every single day, so I’m excited for that.”

ROTC’s first competition experience this year was when they attended All Navy on Feb 22 and won first place. Similarly to All Navy, the judges will be Marine Corps Drill Instructors.

Only two cadets in the unit have been to Nationals in previous years, so nobody knows what to expect.

“We’ve been working this entire year for Nationals. I’m super excited. it’s a lot of stress, but it’ll be worth it,” Medina said.