Nine Cadets from the JROTC program at Marion High School recently returned from a week of adventure at Camp Atterbury: the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC).
Each cadet successfully completed a series of physical and leadership challenges designed to push them beyond what they thought they could do. At the end of the week-long training, five Marion cadets were selected by their cadre/instructors for recognition as a Top Cadets during the camp.
Because of her superior performance and attitude, Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. I’Yela Hornaday was recognized as the No. 1 cadet in her company, which included 55 cadets. She was one of only four from among the 217 cadets attending the camp to earn such an honor.
Additionally, Cadets Cory Rice, Alyssa Townsend, Kylee O'Neil, and Ashley White were recognized among the top 10 cadets in their respective companies.
Marion JROTC Cadet Ashley White leads her team through the leadership reaction course at Camp Atterbury during the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge in June.
The Marion cadets made up only 4% of the JROTC cadets from across the state who attended JCLC this year, yet earned nearly 13% of the top awards.
“Our cadets continually amaze me with their achievements,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the Senior Army Instructor at Marion High School. “To have so many of our cadets recognized as Top Cadets demonstrates the strength of our program and the quality of our cadets.”
Marion Cadet Alyssa Townsend prepares to conduct land navigation using a compass and map while at Camp Atterbury for the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge in June. Townsend, along with eight other Marion cadets, joined with cadets from across the state to attend this camp.
The mission of JCLC is to provide an environment conducive to practical application of good citizenship and leadership techniques taught during the school year. The cadets faced many physical challenges, including rappelling, obstacle courses, land navigation, and a leadership reaction course. Additionally, they learned water safety and survival techniques.
“I really enjoyed getting to know the cadets and instructors from the other schools,” said Alyssa Townsend, who attended JCLC for the first time.
Maj. General Carr, the Adjutant General for the Indiana National Guard, visited JCLC, and he presented a Commander’s Coin to Townsend for her superior performance during the camp.
Marion Cadet Joanna Hidalgo learns how to handle a raft during water safety operations at the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at Camp Atterbury in June. Hidalgo also rappelled off a 60-foot tower, conducted land navigation, and was challenged by the leadership reaction course, along with many other adventures while attending the camp.
The cadets rose at 6 a.m. each morning and conducted a full day of training, including two hours of athletic competition each evening. Their bunks, personal area and barracks were inspected each day to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness. They learned how to function as part of a team, completing most tasks in squad-sized elements of 10 to 13 cadets.
“I really enjoyed the leadership opportunities and serving as a squad leader,” said Cadet Rice. “I hope I have the chance to go to JCLC again next year.”
Marion Cadet Cory Rice (center) straps in for his first-ever ride in an Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter while attending the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at Camp Atterbury in June. Rice, along with eight other Marion cadets, faced many leadership challenges and adventures during the six-day camp.