Story and Photos by: CSM (R) Debra Meyers
Albuquerque, NM – On April 1, 2023, the Viking Battalion Marksmanship Team participated in the State Championship Marksmanship Tournament. Albuquerque’s newest JROTC program, Valley High School Army JROTC, became the 2023 New Mexico 4A Sporter Rifle State Champions. The Viking Battalion earned State Champion status on the 1-year anniversary of becoming an official Army JROTC program. Incredibly, the Cadets achieved this monumental task while utilizing borrowed marksmanship equipment (rifles, kneeling roles, mats, and shooting gloves) from within the Albuquerque Public Schools district. Cadets Aspyn Romero, Shaunacy Lucero, Aiden Chopito, and Caiden Tafoya (from left to right) were so excited to compete that they did not want to wait for the initial issue of marksmanship equipment to come in from Cadet Command so they trained hard with what they had. Their motto leading up to the State Championship was “Practice with a purpose so you have a purpose for practice!” – Deion Sanders. The Cadets dedicated numerous hours to practicing and encouraging each other to be the best they could possibly be, and their devotion definitely showed.