YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — For the second straight year, Yokota High School is hosting the annual Far East Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Drill Meet.

Twelve programs and 165 cadets representing all four service branches across the Pacific will test marksmanship, drill proficiency and physical fitness in the three-day competition, scheduled to begin Monday.

The field includes Osan American, Seoul American and Taegu American from South Korea; Kadena and Kubasaki out of Okinawa; Japan-based Kinnick, E.J. King, Zama American, M.C. Perry and Robert D. Edgren; and Guam High. Yokota’s Army ROTC program was last year’s overall champion.

Large and small schools compete under the same umbrella, a departure from most Department of Defense Dependents Schools-sanctioned athletic events.

“Unlike one of the sports-type Far East events, this is a one-shot deal,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Mateer, the senior instructor at Yokota. “The teams see no competitors during the year, so no one really knows how good the others are until this meet.”

A significant change this year is the elimination of an overall champion, he added. Instead, there will be team trophies awarded in three categories: physical fitness, drill and shooting. Officials also adopted “weighted” scoring for the various drill sets.

“All drills are not equal so weighting will make scoring a little more equitable,” Mateer said.

“The changes to scoring and elimination of an ‘overall’ champion … will make it very difficult to capture the top place in all three categories. However, this will allow three schools to have bragging rights about Far East.”

On Monday, all units except the Air Force will engage in air rifle and pistol shooting. The afternoon features “fun challenges” such as a golf shootout, modified biathlon, speed shooting and a “shoot the hole in the Life Saver” event.

A uniform inspection kicks off Day 2. Starting at 9 a.m., the cadets get an opportunity to showcase their marching abilities. Regulation armed and unarmed drill takes place in the Yokota High School gym, while color guard and freestyle exhibition are set to unfold in the middle school gym. The competitions run until about 3:30 p.m. and spectators are welcome.

On Wednesday, the schools clash in physical activities ranging from push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups to a crab relay, 13-team tug-of-war and math relay on the high school track. In that event, runners must dash a quarter-mile and then answer four math problems without assistance from any mechanical devices.

Fifty trophies and more than 300 medals and certificates will be handed out Wednesday evening during an awards dining-in at the Yokota Officers’ Club.

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