This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting JROTC Cadet success stories from Tinian Jr./Sr. High School JROTC.
SAN JOSE, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS -- Tinian Jr./Sr. High School’s Class of 2019 graduate Manuel Quitugua had his basic graduation on October 4th, Friday. In addition, his Advanced Individual Training (AIT) graduation will be on November 8th which is called and referred to as “turning blue”.
Quitigua described his rather amazing experience in basic training:
“There was a bunch of amazing things I did during basic. We had Urban Operations where we learn how to clear a room full of bad guys and save a hostage. We got instant smoking if any of our battle buddies mess up. The gas chamber felt like nothing honestly. I was singing. We had platoon competitions such as drill and ceremony, rifle marksmanship, and a combative course for the pride and honor for the platoon. Etc.”
He was able to talk with the Class of 2020 seniors who recently enlisted into the army and gave them some useful tips about basic.
“The first 3-4 days of your actual basic is not the start. It’s a gut check to see if you’re physically capable. Do what you’re told and you’ll be good.”
His MOS is an 11B Infantryman, where he learns and trains to eliminate and destroy the enemy at hand. His company is Charlie Company 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment. After AIT, his unit will be located at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division. He is currently still at Fort Benning, Georgia where all his training is as well as Airborne School.
Quitugua did quite a lot while in the Tinian JROTC program. He was the Headquarters Company Executive Officer and then became the Bravo Company Commander. Also, he was the Armed Inspection Team Commander that won 1st place in the 2018 CNMI MSU Drill Meet.
Quitugua shared some advice for the cadets.
“Stay positive, greet everyday with a smile, live everyday like it’s your last, and if you think you’re having a hard time suck it up, complaining won’t get you anywhere. It doesn’t matter how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”