Competing in six team events and one solo event, the Randolph-Macon Academy Air Force Junior ROTC VA-091 unit took home the State Championship title from the 13th Virginia Air Force Junior ROTC Drill Championship on April 28, 2018.
The team’s goal at the start of the year was to finish in the top five among the 21 competing schools, but as the competition drew near, the teamâ€™s coach, TSgt Tina Laing, USAF, Retired, knew that they had a chance at much more.
“Corps Commander Victoria Voellm ’18 is my gut-checker, and we kept going through each event together. We kept reaching the same conclusion that each team was capable of finishing in the top five at States,” she said. Logic told her that if that happened, the State Championship title could be theirs.
The teams did not fail her. The Color Guard finished fourth, and every other team finished in the top three: the Inspection Team and Unarmed Regulation both won first place; Armed Exhibition and Unarmed Exhibition both won second place; and Armed Regulation took third place. In addition, Nathan Stewart ’19 finished third in the solo competition.
As a result, R-MA’s team did not just win. They dominated the meet, winning by 35 points with a score of 102. “Even if you took away one of our first-place finishes and one of our second-place finishes, we would still have won,” TSgt Laing noted.
Whatâ€™s next for the State Champions? A bit of fun, as they’ll perform in the Family Fun Day Parade in Front Royal on May 12th.
Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA), founded in 1892, is a college-preparatory, coeducational boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12. Students in grades 9-12 participate in R-MA’s VA-091 Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), and have the opportunity to learn to fly in a unique flight program. R-MA, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, is also one of only six Falcon Foundation Schools in the U.S. The Academy is located in Front Royal, VA.