The ROTC will be competing against Air Force drill teams from around the nation at the 2013 National Drill Team Championship March 16 near Washington and against Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine ROTCs at the 2013 National High School Drill Team Championship in Florida May 4. The team won the Air Force championship in 2010, and expects to do well this year, said commander Master Sgt. Jim Greene.
“I think we are a little better than years past,” Greene said.
The ROTC goes out to perform the best they can and does not seek trophies, he said.
There are two drill teams. East Paulding is fortunate to have enough members in the ROTC to fill both teams, Greene said. One is made up of all boys, and the other is made up of all girls, he said.
Both teams compete in four events: color guard, inspection, regulation drill and exhibition drill, Greene said.
The girls team is led by senior Cadet Col. Laney Tidwell of Dallas, who said she is glad to be going to both championships her senior year. This is the first time the team has gone to both meets, she said.
“I expect to be competitive in the Air Force meet,” Tidwell said.
Tidwell said she feels like she has worked her way up to her command.
“I hope I can be an inspiration to my cadets like I had with my commanders,” Tidwell said.
She said she likes to help other students in their efforts to rise to her level and position.
“The drill team has helped refine me as a leader,” Tidwell said.
Senior Cadet Lt. Col. Evan Henslee, of Dallas, who leads the boys team, also is looking forward to the championships, he said.
“We are the team that even if we do not win they [the audience] will leave saying, ‘Who was that?” Henslee said.
The teams have won 55 trophies at the past four drill meets, Tidwell said.
In the competition the teams have to work together to do well, Greene said.
“It is a catalysis to learn how to work as a team,” he said.
The teams usually place in the top five in the Air Force competition, and are eager to see how they will do against ROTCs from other branches, Greene said.