Story by: LTC Timothy Schiller, Senior Army Instructor, Mililani High School, and 1SG Marlon Rice, Army Instructor, Mililani High School
Photos by: Mr. Roland Silva (Civilian Army Instructor, Waialua High School), and LTC Tim Schiller
On Oahu, Hawaii, from 31 May – 2 June 2023, over 150 JROTC Cadets participated in this unique three-day leadership and adventure opportunity.
Day 1, Historical Lessons from WW II, Ford Island.
Cadets visited the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, The USS Missouri, and the Flight Deck Simulator to learn about the beginning of the World War II after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. The original bullet holes are still visible in the many hangers that surround the airplane hangers on Ford Island. On the morning of December 7th 1941 at 8:01 a.m., Pearl Harbor and Ford Island were overrun by 353 attacking planes launched from four heavy Japanese aircraft carriers. Bombers destroyed 33 of the 70 planes on Ford Island, killing 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships.
Fast forward four and a half years later, on the teak decks of USS Missouri, WWII finally came to an end on September 2nd 1945. The Surrender Ceremony, which formally brought an end to the bloodiest conflict in human history, lasted a mere 23 minutes. The JROTC Cadets were allowed to tour the entire ship and the exact location of the signing of the surrender.
Day 2, Adventure Training, Schofield Barracks, home of the 25th Infantry Division
Station 1. Rappelling, Lightning Training Academy, East Range, Schofield Barracks. Cadets had the opportunity to overcome their fears and rappel 40 feet down the 25th Lightning Academy’s Rappel Tower. Once each cadet made it down the tower, they had an overwhelming joy of success in accomplishing the last letter of the LDRSHIP acronym, “Personal Courage”. Accomplishing this task is monumental in a cadet’s life, projecting them with confidence in their own abilities and listening carefully to the instructors as they gave words of precise instruction and encouragement.
Station 2. Leadership Reaction Course (LRC), Schofield Barracks. The Cadets took charge and led their squads through an obstacle course using team-work to accomplish a mission. This LRC provided the cadets to think through a difficult obstacle and using military-type skills to JROTC cadets in a “hands on” military environment and provide cadets an opportunity to practice leadership skills in an unfamiliar environment.
Station 3. Drown-proofing, Richardson Pool, Schofield Barracks. One of the most anticipating and exciting events was the drown-proofing station. All cadets were invited to participate in a open water swim test and an underwater swim test. Once we built our familiarization with swimming, the cadets were trained on how to use their ACUs pants for drown-proofing, a method for surviving in water disaster or distress scenarios without sinking or drowning. Cadets were then challenged to test their inflated pants by floating in the pool with no swimming assist for 15 minutes. The final event at the Richardson Pool was to have each cadet challenge their limits of fear and jump off the 16.4 feet (15 M) platform.
Day 3, was Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Training/Adventure Training conducted on three-different School Campuses.
Cadets enjoyed a variety of events with Archery, Marksmanship, VEX Robotics, Drill and Ceremony (D&C), Rope-bridge and Rappelling. With cadets leading the D&C for Squad Drill, 25 commands were learned as each cadet became the Squad Leader. It is truly amazing how cadets from across the State can come together and perform so well in D&C. Expert leadership and technical skills for the next events, Archery, Marksmanship, VEX Robotics, Rope Bridge and rappelling, with cadets having hands-on experience in all six areas.