Story by Cadet Alex Reyes-Knight, and Cadet Kayley Morimoto
Pictures by LTC Tim Schiller, SAI, Mililani High School
The Waianae Adventure Challenge is a two-day Raider event held at Waianae High School and the Pilila’au Army’s Recreational Center (PARC) on Oahu’s West-side. Herbert Kailieha Pilila’au, was a Native Hawaiian from Wai’anae who was awarded the Medal of Honor (MOH) for his actions in the Korean War. He fought during the battle of Heartbreak Ridge, staying behind to cover his unit’s withdrawal alone, and was eventually over ran by the North Koreans.
The Trojan Cadets started training for this event about two months ago, under the direction of the Raiders First Sergeant, C/1SG Zurell Jackson, and Raiders Commander C/LTC Marley Chung. “We practiced twice a week concentrating of Rope-bridge construction – simulating crossing a river, aerobic training – 3-mile runs, and strength training – pushups and sit-ups,” Jackson said. “This year we have a lot of new LET 1s and we wanted to give them experience in this unique and honorable competition, but we weren’t going to lose either, we were there to win,” said C/LTC Chung.
The adventure started out at the beach, with several different activities, with schools from the other Hawaiian-islands, Kauai, and the Big Island, and other teams as far away as Bethel, Alaska, over 400 miles from Anchorage. Bethel is only accessible via boat or plane. Seeing all the schools together was the most exciting part of the competition, and having graders from the University of Hawaii’s Warrior Army ROTC Battalion, members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Association (SAMA), members of the 25th Infantry Division (ID), and the Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG).
Day 1 – One of the most difficult parts of the competition was the beach run, to run down and back carrying a 5-gallon water jug weighing approximately 42 pounds isn’t too bad for a 180-200 pounds male-cadet, but some of the cadets especially the small females, weighing only 90 pounds struggled with this event. Following the beach run, cadets in their 4-person team composition swam around a rock-jetty, then did a fireman’s carry on the beach. Then following this event went right into the canoe race, for many of the cadets was the first time working in sequence as they paddled the canoe, in unison to get the maximum glide and speed. Simultaneously, other teams were constructing a rope-bridge, and doing a fitness challenge testing the strength and agility of each cadet.
Day 2 – The second day of competition was at Wai’anae High School, where LTC Anthony “Tony” Hafner (Senior Army Instructor for Wai’anae HS), and 1SG Milo Sinapati (Army Instructor for Wai’anae HS) and the Seariders Battalion were prepared to execute simultaneously three fast-paced events, including a campus run, and obstacle course and a strength training/endurance event. The events were very challenging for all the cadets, yet everyone who started the competition finished it. Located on the Pacific Ocean, the competition was not only very challenging for all the cadets, but the beauty of the sea and the mountains were exceptional.
Other comments from team participants being interviewed by Assistant PAO Cadet Sergeant Kayley Morimoto:
Ariana Mendoza, “This comp was so much fun. The first day at the beach was kind of difficult; my shoulders hurt. It’s my last comp here in Hawai’i, since my parents are PCSing to Texas over the summer, but it was very fun”.
Josie Camacho, “It was good. It was really challenging. Definitely not too easy…for Mililani and the mixed team pushed me really hard, which I liked”.