Oak Harbor High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps finished 21st in the Navy National Academic, Athletic and Drill Championships last weekend.
Because of budget cuts and sequestration, the competition was a “virtual” meet for the first time. In the past, the teams squared off in Pensacola, Fla.
Oak Harbor sent a videotape of the April 13 competition to Sports Network International in Florida, which worked with NJROTC headquarters and judges from local Marine Corps and Navy units.
Oak Harbor was one of only 25 units in the country to be selected for the competition; it was also Oak Harbor’s first national nomination in its 39 years.
Oak Harbor results: academic (150-question test), 16th; athletics (push-ups, curl-ups, two relays), 18th; drill (armed, unarmed, color guard), 24th; overall, 21st.
In a press release, Chief William Thiel said, “Now that the cadets of Wildcat Battalion have participated, they know that if they want to do this again, there will need to be some additional training and practice to show that they deserve to place better than this year.”
Oak Harbor was the only unit from Washington to be nominated and was recognized as Area 13’s top program. Area 13 encompasses Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Northern California, Japan and Guam.
In addition to being awarded a berth in the national tournament, Oak Harbor has received the Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors award for eight consecutive years and 12 of the past 13.
Commander Mike Black and Thiel said they are “extremely proud of how the cadets stepped up and performed the required routines and practiced the academic and athletic portions to their best.”
Thiel added, “It is such a pleasure to come to work every single day to work with Commander Black and to watch the cadets grow and mature from young, scared freshmen to successful seniors that move on to become valuable assets in our community and beyond.”