EHS National Defense Cadets travel to Volunteer High for regional competition

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

BY HANNAH ASKEW
STAR CORRESPONDENT
On Saturday, 23 Elizabethton High School National Defense Cadets from the NDCC competed in a variety of academic and physical events at Volunteer High School in Church Hill.
This was the very first regional competition for JROTC, and cadets competed against several different schools in the Tri-Cities area. The events included an unarmed marching drill with a performance by the EHS Color Guard, academic and physical tests, and a STEM exam.
Senior Naval Science Instructor Ryan Presnell is responsible for educating the cadets on basic military procedures, physical fitness, nutrition, command structure, and organization. He said students must show what it requires to be a regular student and a JROTC cadet at the same time.
Presnell also preaches an incredibly militaristic piece of advice: “Just do what we told you. Follow the orders. It sounds simple, but it’s the greatest piece of advice you can give,” he said.
In preparation for Saturday, the cadets trained on their drills. The Color Guard has practiced since last fall.
“I’m looking forward to the Brain Brawl because I’m very interested in knowledge about the Navy and the military in general,”
said Platoon Commander and Cadet David Crowder.
Crowder is one of only two seniors in the EHS JROTC program. He joined the Navy in August 2021. He signed a contract for six years of service but is considering signing an extension based on how the next chapter of his life goes.
Crowder said JROTC and his position have shaped his leadership skills.
“Captain Presnell and First Sergeant Wilcox have shown me that being a leader is more than just being able to think quick and give orders quicker; it’s about being able to take responsibility for your actions and not blame others. And to always be there when anyone in your platoon needs it,” Crowder said.

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