ROTC Suffers Setbacks but is Geared for Greatness


The ROTC drill team stands at attention. Photo contributed by Jaylynn Morales

Brendan Roberts, Reporter

The Selma High ROTC continues to make their presence known as the drill team competed on January 18th in Desert Hot Springs. The team placed 2nd in unarmed exhibition, 2nd in regulation, and 2nd in inspection. These events consist of different tasks that are performed by the platoon in front of a former or current service member. Color Guard was the only event Selma did not place in. They will compete once again on February 29th in Yuma, Arizona.

Furthermore, the ROTC marksmanship team is on track to compete in February in Alabama for the Armed Service Championships. 

Although ROTC performed well, some were disappointed, believing that they fell short of the reputation SHS ROTC has acquired over the years. 

“It [the competition] definitely wasn’t our best, and we could’ve done better,” said senior Jaylynn Morales.

Morales is a first Lieutenant in ROTC. 

In order to improve their performance for when they compete in Yuma, the students hope to not only practice more in the coming weeks but to also improve the quality of practice. 

“We can definitely improve by practicing a lot more and being more consistent with our practice,” said senior Toni Allonzo.

Allonzo is a unit commander and S1 officer. 

Additionally, the team suffered from high turnover this school year.

“This year our marksmanship didn’t have the normal turnover and therefore had to build with unskilled cadets,” according to First Sergeant Romero. ”Normally, in marksmanship the skill set takes about 18 months to develop at the National level. For the drill team 12 months is the development time with exposure to competitions.”

The biggest issue at hand though seems to be the ROTC team’s morale which has been suffering this past year. 

“I wish for more structure in the program for future cadets and there’s not that many motivated people unlike my freshman year,” said Morales, “It’s kind of died down, but it’s a really good program, and I don’t want it to go away.”

However, there is still time for the ROTC team to make this only a brief slump and make up for past setbacks.

“The students have a lot of heart as can also be seen in their performance in the other campus sporting teams. Our students on campus always find a way to excel. When you play from the heart, sometimes that’s more than enough to overcome skill,” said First Sergeant Romero.

There is a reason SHS ROTC has acquired a reputation of excellence, so the team will strive to prove themselves once again in competitions to come.