Marines volunteer at drill meet

23 Oct 2013 | Cpl. Brady Wood

Marines from units aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort gathered at Battery Creek High School to help out with various duties during a drill meet Oct. 12.

Prior to the start of the event, the Marines were assigned their duties. They could volunteer to be a cook, be a runner for one of the various graded portions of the drill meet or serve at the concession stand.

For the final event, several hand-picked Marines were given the opportunity to watch the students during the drill elimination. If a student missed a beat on a drill movement or did not maintain their bearing, one of the Marines would tell him or her to leave the formation.

Once the drill meet drew to a conclusion, instead of leaving right away to get back to their weekend, the Marines stayed at Battery Creek a little longer in order to help tear down the event

“It is important for our active duty personnel to volunteer at these kind of events because it shows the public that we care about who is going to be the future of our Corps,” said Sgt. Maj. Leveta Smith, the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron sergeant major. “It also shows that it is very important to us as Marines to give back to the community.”

“A drill meet helps build a picture of what we are trying to get across to the students,” said Dwayne Farr, retired sergeant major and Marine instructor for the Whale Branch High School JROTC.

“We have an objective to build their courage and their confidence in what they are going to do in life,” said Farr. “Life is all about competition, and this event allows them to find out how you perform and it can be graded.

“We had 10 different high schools out here and we wanted them to feel inspired to be competitive.”

No matter how many schools were present, everybody comes out a winner, said Sgt. Maj. Howard Reeves, a Marine Instructor for Battery Creek High School Marine Corps JROTC.

Since becoming a JROTC instructor, Reeves said he has noticed that most of the students who want to join the program, want to be more than the average student.

“The program seems to attract the students that want a little more of a challenge in their life,” said Reeves. “The challenge that we give them is learning discipline and how to be a better student and a better citizen.”

Part of the challenge for students is learning to challenge themselves to improve.

“I just wanted us to come out here and do our best, not to try to do better than anybody else but better than ourselves,” said Cadet Lt. Col. Wendell Robertson, a senior of Battery Creek High School and cadet commanding officer of Battery Creek MCJROTC.

Like the Marine Corps, MCJROTC teaches students multiple leadership traits.

“I’ve learned integrity, discipline and how to lead others by example,” Robertson said. “I plan on using what I have learned to be able to be the one that can step out and lead others. While there will be times that I have to follow, that isn’t going to stop me from leading others if I have the chance.”

At end of the drill competition, it was the Nation Ford High School MCJROTC that came out on top of everyone else.

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