MILILANI, HI -- The 2021 PACRM Virtual Drill Championships consisted of 10 main events: Armed Division included Color Guard, Armed Regulation, Armed Team Exhibition, Armed Exhibition Duel, Armed Exhibition Solo, and Armed Inspection. Unarmed Division included Unarmed Regulation, Team Unarmed Exhibition, Unarmed Exhibition Duel, and Unarmed Inspection. 26 High School Drill Teams (Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps JROTC Programs) and one unit from Youth Challenge Academy from across the state competed in the first Trojan Battalion Pacific Rim Regional (PACRM) Virtual Drill Championships at Mililani High School.
The competition was developed in a five phase operations plan, Phase 1 - Registration, Phase 2 - Video submissions, Phase 3 - Judge’s coordination and scoring, Phase 4 - Event media production, and finally Phase 5, - Results of the top three in each event and an overall champion.
Some of the biggest challenges each school’s Drill Team faced was very limited practices, social distancing and following all protocols placed on the Department of Education - State of Hawaii. Event Competition Coordinator Paulo Faleafine, of Na Mea Ike Ia and the Royal Hawaiian Guard program said, “This year marks the first State level virtual drill competition held in Hawaii. Covid-19 forced us to provide a full cloud based solution to everything from registration, video submissions, judging, and awards presentation. Key to our success was use of the Score Star competition scoring system designed to fit the competition SOP, Kahoot to engage the cadets by testing their knowledge for the inspection events, and our Aloha Legacy Hawaii program to lend video production expertise.”
Many cadets across the state were eager to participate in the event and practices in person, since most schools were having classes on a hybrid of 25 percent in person class and 75 percent on-line. “Having the opportunity to see my friends I haven’t seen at school in over a year was really awesome,” said Cadet Captain Kekoa Merez, Drill Commander for the Mililani Drill Team.
“As a Drill Team, our goal was not to be just great, but to be phenomenal, and follow our Drill Team’s Motto, Excellence through Repetition,” said Cadet First Sergeant Ryan Green. “Everything in life is similar to drill, work as hard as you can, do the right thing, and great things will happen,” said CSM Robert Garo, Army Instructor, Mililani High School. “The hard work from all the cadets, the instructors and the judges made this event truly noteworthy and we accomplished our primary goal, to win the Pacific Rim Regional Drill Championships,” said CSM Garo.
“We thank Na Mea Ike Ia - Royal Hawaiian Guard program for coordinating our event with the dedication of our outstanding judges from Drill-Team Dynamics, Drill Warrior University, The Drill Dojo, along with members of the 25th Infantry Division Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. Also, a mahalo to the Hawaiian Islands Panel of Professional Experts (HIPPE) for donating the Outstanding Leadership Award. We salute you,” said Senior Army Instructor, LTC Tim Schiller, Mililani High School.
Winning overall was Mililani High School Army JROTC and runner up was Waipahu School Army JROTC. The Outstanding Leadership Award was awarded to CDT LTC Aleksei Zuniga of Waipahu High School based on their inspection leader score and performance in the live knowledgetest.