Eleven JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) cadets representing five DPS high schools recently combined as a team to compete in the JROTC Fitness Nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla. To prepare for the competition, students diligently trained as cadets for an entire year, and together as a brigade in the six weeks leading up to the event.
Bringing together students from across Denver presented a unique opportunity, for not only the cadets, but for JROTC leadership. A large part of the organization’s mission is to teach students invaluable skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork and communication, and in forming a special team for the competition, students learned how to navigate the new relationships.
“We wanted to build a Brigade Raider team to improve camaraderie — or as we say in the military, esprit de corps– amongst both the cadets and the schools,” said Lt. Col. Osterholzer, the director of DPS’ JROTC program. He added, “Transforming 11 kids from different high schools — most of whom were total strangers a month ago — into a high-performance team was a challenge, but one that they overcame with tremendous success.”
The team competed against other schools in several physically-demanding events, including a three-kilometer team run, pull-up competition, seated power throw, standing broad jump and an obstacle course.
“This was a phenomenal opportunity,” said Cadet Oscar Rodriguez from Lincoln High School, who served as team captain. “Teamwork is one of the life lessons we learn in JROTC and being able to work with cadets from different schools was very powerful.”
Rodriguez also represented DPS in the Ultimate Fitness Cadet Competition, where he placed fourth out of 39 competitors.
For many of the young cadets, the visit to Daytona Beach was their first trip to the ocean, and served as another way students are experiencing the many possibilities available for their futures. The trip was paid for by the U.S. Army and DPS, at no cost to the students.
Congratulations to our DPS cadets for their outstanding work! Cadets represented DPS to earn the following placements:
Denver Brigade Raider Team:
George Washington High School:
Lincoln High School:
West High School:
North High School:
Thomas Jefferson High School:
JROTC teaches life skills that prepare cadets for college and career, regardless of their plans after high school. Through their cadet-run program and team competitions, students learn invaluable skills in the areas of leadership, teamwork, time-management, self-discipline and communication.
For more information on college and career readiness programs, visit collegeandcareer.dpsk12.org. For more information on JROTC programs available at each school, contact Lt. Col. Steve Osterholzer.