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 -- The former Battalion Commander of Tinian High School JROTC Stallion Battalion for the school year 2018-2019, Jovilyn Cynthia Ancheta, graduated from basic training on October 18, 2019, as a part of Delta Company 2-39th Infantry Regiment in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Her MOS is a 91B Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic and her Advanced Individual Training (AIT) is at Fort Lee, Virginia. She is currently part of the Foxtrot Company 16th Ordnance Battalion.
Ancheta mentioned colored phases that they had to go through during basic training.
“We did the gas chamber, Victory Tower, Confidence Course, and the Hammer during the Red Phase. In White Phase, we were issued M4 Carbines and with those weapons, we qualified with iron sights and CCOs (Close Combat Optics). We also did the Anvil. In Blue Phase, we qualified with throwing hand grenades and we did the Forge. The Hammer, Anvil, and Forge are events that consist of mostly doing ruck marches while holding your weapon, carrying heavy ruck-sacks (back-packs), and walking for miles. The Hammer ruck march was about 4 miles and the Anvil was 8 miles.” In Ancheta’s opinion, the experiences they have undergone “weren't that bad after doing it, but it was a bit challenging while doing it.”
She went into detail about ‘The Forge’ which is a 96-hour field training course that trainees must go through, consisting of vigorous battle drills, basic skills, and tactical operations. “The Forge was horrible but fun at some times. We rucked for 20 plus miles during the night. "Slept" during the day. At night after rucking, we'd train or sleep. It's the same too during the day. We're supposed to be resting during the day, but really we sleep for a few hours and then we train again before rucking. During the first night of the Forge, we did NIC (Night Infiltration Course) at night. We high crawled 150 meters in the sand while live rounds were being fired by machine guns over our heads. Fun.”
She then talked about a simulated mission they had to do using teamwork.
“We transported equipment from one location to another while rucking using teamwork. After delivering the equipment, we marched to a shooting range where we got to shoot at night with no lights on. We could see the pop-up targets clear as day and there are strict rules at the range, so don't worry. That night was so fun.”
“I really enjoyed it. We had combative, but our company didn't really take it seriously because our drill sergeants didn't want us to get hurt and broken before graduation. There was a lot of marching, eating MREs, PT, yelling and disciplinary corrective actions. We did "The Motivator", in other words, the eight-count push-ups for corrective actions. I'm never going to forget those times. “
When asked what was the best part of her training, Ancheta said, “What really made my basic training experience memorable though was my drill sergeants. They cared for us. Like, really cared for us. Compared to the other drill sergeants from the other companies, their drill sergeants treat them like crap. Our drill sergeants were truly concerned about us when it comes to our health, safety, etc. I was really fortunate to be in Delta Company 2-39, the best company in Fort Jackson. Our company had the highest PT scores, the most who shot expert and never dying motivation, and that was because of our drill sergeants.”
Ancheta took up several leadership positions in JROTC since her freshman year. In the beginning, she was a clerk for the Security and Intelligence Officer (S2) in school year 2015-2016. For sophomore year, she became the Adjutant Officer (S1). Then, in her junior year, she became the Operations and Training Officer (S3). On her last year, she was the Battalion Commander.
Bravo, Jovilyn! Your dedication towards JROTC is proof of your commitment to the program and it will carry on to the Army. Cheers to a gracious end at your basic training and a promising beginning at AIT. Hope this brings all kinds of new challenges and opportunities for you. HOOAH!