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JROTC marksmanship team aims for first at competition, succeeds

In December, the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps team, led by JROTC teacher Jeffrey Bounds, competed in a six-round competition in Houston. 

The marksmanship team placed first in the league match out of nine teams. Senior Maya Sanchez placed second, junior Liliana Sherman placed fourth, and senior Charli Pean placed seventh overall. Freshman Lilo Sanchez placed second overall of the new shooters, with all team members placing in the top 30 out of 80 competitors. 

Bounds believe that the purpose of AFJROTC is to instill in cadets the values of citizenship and personal responsibility to create a sense of accomplishment.

“The program is meant to reinforce personal growth as cadets are encouraged to participate in leadership development activities,” Bounds said. “In marksmanship, cadets learn invaluable skill sets like gun safety, leadership, teamwork, time management, self-discipline, and communication.”

The marksmanship competition is a three-position air rifle league match between nine AFJROTC high school units. 

“Cadets compete in six matches and have to shoot ten targets in the prone, standing, and kneeling positions per match,” Bounds said. “The league winner is determined by the combined scores of the six matches.”

Marksmanship is a precision shooting event that requires concentration, self-discipline, and efficiency during movement.

The biggest challenge for cadets is taking their time and using proper techniques,” Bounds said. “The competition is a timed event, and some cadets want to rush instead of taking their time when shooting targets.”

Liliana has been involved with JROTC for three years and shoots on average shoots a score between 250-270.

“My biggest struggle is most definitely standing,” Liliana said. “We aren’t allowed to use any extra stuff to help stabilize our weapons, it’s all based on us. We have to focus on our breathing to make sure that we aren’t moving around too much so we don’t miss anything.”

With the team earning first place Bounds said that he is proud of how far the team members have come and the leadership they exhibited, especially the seniors. 

“Maya and Charli earned their Expert Marksmanship Badge, which is the highest badge in marksmanship,” Bounds said. “I think what makes Maya and the other team members successful is their ability to focus on the proper technique and commitment during practice.”

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Ace Roueche
Ace Roueche, Associate Editor
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