YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Twelve programs and 156 cadets from Japan, Okinawa and South Korea will snap to attention this week at the annual Far East Junior ROTC Meet, a three-day event designed to test marksmanship, drill proficiency and physical fitness.

The competition, which was scheduled to begin Monday, is being held at Yokota High School for the first time since 1994.

Competition judges hail from all four branches of service, a necessity because the participating schools feature different JROTC programs with their own set of drill commands.

And unlike most Department of Defense Dependents Schools-sanctioned athletic events, large and small schools will be under the same roof for this Far East battle.

“One size fits all,” said retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Mateer, the senior instructor for Yokota’s JROTC program. “We’ll have three days of competitions and a total of 20 different events.”

Marksmanship is on tap in Monday’s opening stanza. On Tuesday, the cadets will showcase their marching abilities in four separate categories of drilling: regulation, armed regulation with rifles, color guard and a freestyle exhibition.

And what JROTC showdown would be complete without a uniform inspection? Competitors face an hourlong head-to-toe review Tuesday at 8 a.m. sharp.

On Wednesday, the schools compete in physical activities ranging from push-ups, pull-ups and situps to first-aid relays and the “Ranger Circle,” in which a circle is formed by the 13 team members who each put their feet on another cadet’s back with hands on the floor. The object? Do as many push-ups as possible.

“The winning answer may be one,” Mateer said.

A four-team tug-of-war also is planned, along with a math relay on Yokota’s track. In that event, four runners per school must dash a quarter-mile and then answer four math problems, without assistance from any mechanical devices.

With schools limited to 13 cadets per team, the annual meet requires students to be adept in several areas.

“The kids must be very versatile,” Mateer said. “Schools work on this from the beginning of the year until now. They have to bring shooters, drillers, color guard and strong people for the PT stuff.

“The amount of dedication it takes to do this is tremendous … Everybody has to literally work together, be in line, know all the commands and show flawless teamwork.”

Fifty-nine trophies, 319 medals and 171 certificates will be handed out Wednesday during a 6 p.m. awards dinner at the Yokota Officers’ Club. Chief Master Sgt. Cathy Barker, the 374th Airlift Wing’s command chief master sergeant, is to be the guest speaker.

12 schools in competition

The schools competing in the 2006 Far East High School Junior ROTC Meet at Yokota Air Base in Japan are Osan American, Seoul American, Pusan American and Taegu American, all in South Korea; Kadena and Kubasaki out of Okinawa; and Japan-based Kinnick, E.J. King, Zama American, M.C. Perry, Robert D. Edgren and Yokota.

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