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AF JROTC teams places 2nd at JLAB

Cadets and instructors from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas, and Valencia High School, Valencia Calif., Junior ROTC programs stand with Maj. Michael Allen (left), operations deputy of Air Force JROTC, during the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl award ceremony, in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2019.The three JROTC teams were the top Air Force JROTCs in the county. The teams competed against more than 430 Air Force JROTC teams to make it to the finals after months of testing and competing. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Cadets and instructors from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., The Woodlands High School, The Woodlands, Texas, and Valencia High School, Valencia Calif., Junior ROTC programs stand with Maj. Michael Allen (left), operations deputy of Air Force JROTC, during the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl award ceremony, in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2019.The three JROTC teams were the top Air Force JROTCs in the county. The teams competed against more than 430 Air Force JROTC teams to make it to the finals after months of testing and competing. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Cadets Samuel Chen, Kevin Griggs, Raymond Sun and Vanessa Zhou from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., celebrate second place with Maj. Michael Allen (left), operations deputy of Air Force JROTC, and Lt. Col. Michael Sheldon (right), JROTC instructor at Scripps Ranch High School during the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl award ceremony, in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2019.The Junior ROTC Academic Bowl is a multi-level competition that high school Junior ROTC units from each service participate in throughout the school year. The competition includes a mix of Junior ROTC curriculum, English, Math and Science, all skills that contribute to the Air Force Junior ROTC core mission of developing citizens of character. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Cadets Samuel Chen, Kevin Griggs, Raymond Sun and Vanessa Zhou from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., celebrate second place with Maj. Michael Allen (left), operations deputy of Air Force JROTC, and Lt. Col. Michael Sheldon (right), JROTC instructor at Scripps Ranch High School during the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl award ceremony, in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2019.The Junior ROTC Academic Bowl is a multi-level competition that high school Junior ROTC units from each service participate in throughout the school year. The competition includes a mix of Junior ROTC curriculum, English, Math and Science, all skills that contribute to the Air Force Junior ROTC core mission of developing citizens of character. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps teams representing different military branches compete in the 8th Annual Joint Service Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. The JROTC teams competed in the Academic Bowl over Math, Science, English and JROTC curriculum. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps teams representing different military branches compete in the 8th Annual Joint Service Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. The JROTC teams competed in the Academic Bowl over Math, Science, English and JROTC curriculum. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps team from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego Calif., use pencil and paper to answer a math question during the finals of the  a question in which requited pencil and paper during the 8th Annual Joint Service Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. The team competed against more than 430 Air Force JROTC teams to make it to the finals after months of testing and competing. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps team from Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego Calif., use pencil and paper to answer a math question during the finals of the a question in which requited pencil and paper during the 8th Annual Joint Service Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. The team competed against more than 430 Air Force JROTC teams to make it to the finals after months of testing and competing. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps teams from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines ready themselves at the start of the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., Princess Anna High school Virginia Beach, Va., representing the Navy JROTC team, White Station High School Memphis Tenn., representing the Army JROTC, and John Randolph Tucker High School, Henrico, Va., were the finalist in the month’s long competition. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps teams from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines ready themselves at the start of the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 23, 2019. Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego, Calif., Princess Anna High school Virginia Beach, Va., representing the Navy JROTC team, White Station High School Memphis Tenn., representing the Army JROTC, and John Randolph Tucker High School, Henrico, Va., were the finalist in the month’s long competition. (Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Jared Duhon)

WASHINGTON – --

Hands were in the standby position as members of the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps competed in the 8th Annual JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl, in Washington, D.C., June 21-24, 2019.

 

“This competition challenges our cadets personally, professionally and intellectually,” said Major Michael Allen, Deputy Chief of Operations for Headquarters, Air Force Junior ROTC. “Only the top 4% of Air Force teams make it this far and no matter what happens here, no one can take that away from them.”

 

The academic bowl is the culmination of a multi-level academic competition in which high school JROTC units represent their service branch and participate in throughout the school year. June 23, was the final round, and only the top seed for each branch was left - the returning champions, Scripps Ranch High School, and their challengers, Princess Anna High school Virginia Beach, Va., representing Navy JROTC, White Station High School Memphis Tenn. representing Army JROTC, and John Randolph Tucker High School, Henrico, Va., representing Marine JROTC.

 

At the end of the competition, the scores were tallied and the AFJROTC took second place, handing their title of champions to the Navy JROTC team after a three year reign.

 

“The Navy team that beat us are really good,” said Cadet Kevin Griggs, Air Force JROTC Scripps Ranch High School. “In a local competition we were beaten by a local Navy team which had also lost to this team.”

 

One of the difficulties the Scripps Ranch High School cadets had to overcome was more than half of the team had changed out before the competition. Although tough, Cadet Raymond Sun was positive about the upcoming challenge.

 

“It was exciting to see how we would do because of how much of the team is new,” said Sun. “I was able to talk about my experience from past events and help the team overcome their fears.”

 

Sun had used his leadership abilities to help guide the team to the finals, but in the end, a round called “Categories” was the arrow in Achilles’ heel. “The event was very math intensive and the ‘Categories’ section caught us unaware,” said Cadet Samuel Chen.

 

Although not taking first at the event, Scripps Ranch High School was able to beat 439 other Air Force JROTC teams competing against one another in a mixture of JROTC curriculum, English, Math and Science for the last 10 months.

 

“We did very well this year and we won it for the last three years as well as winning the Air Force one for the last five or six years.” said Lt. Col. Michael Sheldon, JROTC instructor at Scripps Ranch High School. “We know what we need to concentrate on to win next year we have a lot of return students, so I feel confident we can take it again next year.”

 

As the team gathered around and held their trophy, smiles showed that their spirits had not been diminished, but excited that their hard work and dedication paid off.

 

Sheldon and his cadets will work together to polish aspects of their preparation and ready themselves next year for a win in the 2020 Joint Service Academic Bowl.