Perry takes JROTC honors
April 4, 2009
The home team, Matthew C. Perry High School, took the top spots this week during the Far East Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps drill competition at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni.
The three-day event challenged JROTC teams from the Pacific in marksmanship, drills and physical training.
M.C. Perry finished first in the three event areas. Last year, the school placed at the top in two of three areas, according to the Department of Defense Dependents Schools.
"It was a big week for M.C. Perry, but it was a great time for all the kids," said Duane Dougherty, a retired gunnery sergeant and JROTC instructor who coordinated the annual competition.
The JROTC programs are supported by the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and are offered as elective courses at thousands of DODDS and public schools in the United States and around the world, according to JROTC officials.
The schools gathered at Iwakuni to test their classroom training and compete for gold, silver and bronze medallions — and possession of the year-end winner’s banner, Dougherty said.
"It’s kind of like the NBA where they hang a banner," he said.
The Perry JROTC team took the gold in each day of competition and finished well in individual events, Dougherty said.
Competition was tight on the second day during drill competition, and other schools — including Okinawa’s Kubasaki High School JROTC team — made a good showing, Dougherty said.
The three days of events were capped by a brief awards ceremony and a JROTC dance where students continued to compete, this time on the dance floor.
"The kids astounded me," Dougherty said.
"Where they got the energy after three days of competition I don’t know."