Colonel Robert M. Kaltesis
Del Campo’s Air Force Junior ROTC program was established in 1986, and was the third unit open that year by Colonel Earl Farney. Today, USAF Retired Colonel Robert M. Kalteis runs the program. Under his leadership, the Honor Guard and Color Guard teams took first place in a Junior ROTC Drill Competition that was held at Rio Linda High School on January 25th.
For those readers who are unfamiliar with how a drill competition works, below you will find a run down of the procedures of the event.
First, it is important to know some terms related to JROTC .
AFJROTC – Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
ABU – Airman Battle Uniform
Norcal – Shortened for Northern California; it specifies JROTC region.
Corps – a body of people engaged in a particular activity; Pronounced as ‘core’.
Flight – a group consisting of a commander, a flagman, a guide-on, element leaders, and at least twelve cadets who make up the rest of the flight.
Color Guard: Four man team made up of two riflemen and two flagmen. They hold two flags, a California flag and an American Flag, the American flag is held by the commander.
Honor Guard: A higher class position with more responsibilities; consists of a four man team of two riflemen and two flagmen. They hold two flags, a California flag and an American Flag, the American flag is held by the commander.
There is an opening ceremony in which all teams participate. After the opening ceremony is over, teams are guided to a multipurpose room to perform their drills. Each team is given a number to designate the order of who goes first to last.
When it was time for Del Campo’s Color Guard team to perform Commander, Cooper Ernst, gave the first order to come to attention and then enter the drill pad. The team met the drill instructor, and introduced themselves by their team number and by stating the event in which they are competing. Then, they present colors, and entered into the drill sequence.
Once they finish, out of courtesy, they request permission to exit the drill pad. Once each team is finished, they have to wait until the ending ceremony to see who won and what score they received for their performance. During the waiting period, each team is allowed to spend it any way they like. When all teams have finished performing, there is a closing ceremony.
When the Color Guard was asked what the biggest struggle was during competition, the company shared personal anxieties, but they derived comfort in their belief in one another.
The more experienced cadets in the Honor Guard shared a different response to the subject of struggles. Daniel Cronk said,“When we got there, the first team that went [before us] had a different drill sequence than us. So we thought that we had gotten the wrong sequence. So we were freaking out because we were about to go on. We checked with the head coordinator and we were right for our sequence.“ As a team, they were confident in their ability to produce exceedingly great results.
Both Honor and Color Guard teams look forward to the next competition which is the Norcal Drill Competition. This event is by invitation only and the date is April 18 at Hiram Johnson High school. People who wish to support the teams are welcome to attend.