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The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

The Student News Site of Olympia High School

The Oracle

JROTC Raiders conquer Iron Knight Challenge

From Left to Right: Adrian Kemraj (9th), Israel Hernandez (11th), Matthew Hallman (10th), Orville Martinez (11th), Lamarius Alford (10th), Thomas MacCabe (10th)

“To Motivate Young People to be Better Citizens” is the mission of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC). JROTC is a very well-known program in schools all over the United States. This program can help those interested in a military career path, to get experience and rank. Here at Olympia High, we have an Army JROTC program led by Master Sergeant Agard. The program is broken into two teams: our Raider and color guard teams. Our color guard team is a team of cadets that march and present the “colors” and the flags during the national anthem with rifles and both the US and state flags. The Raider team is a physical team that enters into competitions against other Army JROTC Schools. 

Most recently, the University of Central Florida Army ROTC hosted an Iron Knight Challenge. In this challenge, a five-person team competes in a 4-mile long route, with obstacles and events along the way. Our Titan Raiders completed the entire 4-mile-long route, pushing through adversity, by sticking together, hydrating, and helping each other when needed. 

“The most difficult part of [the challenge] was mental because my team and I faced obstacles that were easy but soon after, your body gets tired and your mentality [shifts] and you begin to think about giving up,” sophomore Matthew Hallman expressed. 

“Some difficulties our team [were] faced with, was having low stamina when running,” sophomore Thomas McCabe said.

Any type of challenge comes with its fair share of difficulties, but the biggest learning experience is the perseverance to continue on in the event of hardships. This unwavering commitment is the strength that our competing cadets put into the Iron Knight Challenge and something they were able to take away from the event.

“One thing I learned from this experience is that even though there was a point I wanted to stop, I kept going. I did that because it shows the devotion I had, to get to my objective [and] finish strong. So to put it shortly, I learned always to keep moving toward your goals because by the end of the tunnel, there’s a great reward,” junior Orville Martinez said.

“ I think we got past the obstacles, because [of] the fact that we kept pushing each other. The credit goes to the whole team, not one person [can] take all of the credit. Each and every one of the team members were exhausted including myself, but we all found the energy to motivate each other and [continue] pushing together. We all had the mentality, if one person keeps running then so will I,” Hallman stated. 

“A lesson I learned from this experience was that not everything you see is as easy as it looks,” freshman Adrian Kemraj claimed.

In this UCF Raiders challenge, our Titans had some difficult issues that slowed them down. But, what they learned from these mishaps will help them grow and get better for their next competition.

“For our next competition [we hope] to win an award. Also, we will focus a lot more on jogging, so we are prepared for next time,” Colonel Hernandez said

“A few things I would do differently for [the] next competition, is to stop getting nervous, always stay with the team, and be stronger than who I was at our last competition, even though I truly did my best,” Martinez stated. 

With an amazing event like the Iron Knight Challenge, comes many memories and fun moments between the team.

“My favorite thing about the whole experience was being able to work together with my friends as a team, working hard, and continuously pushing til the very end while being motivated by everyone and having fun,” Orville expressed. 

“We did an amazing job, with this year having two new teammates with no previous experience, [we] shortened the time by twenty minutes,” Hernandez said. 

“My favorite part of this event was the team-building aspect. We all faced obstacles, but we faced them together and completed them. I think that through all [of] the struggle we went through, we got the chance to grow closer to one another. So, my favorite part was facing adversity with my team and overcoming it with my teammates,” Hallman stated. 

Besides the adversity our Olympia JROTC Raider team faced, they worked together and made it out successfully. We congratulate them on passing the finish line, with a faster time than the previous year.

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About the Contributor
Kallista Ramos
Kallista Ramos is a sophomore staff member of the The Oracle. She is on the colorguard team and a member of ceramics club. Outside of school, Kallista enjoys spending time with her friends and family and painting.
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