139th News

JROTC Students learn leadership skills with Air Guard’s help

  • Published
  • By Angela Jean
  • Missouri National Guard
After a 3:45 a.m. wake up call, the cadets did physical training, marched 10 kilometers and then hit the Raiders Challenge course all in the pouring rain.

"They never gave up," said Maj. Tim Burns, JROTC instructor at Lafayette High School. "It was cold and wet. They learned how to push themselves."

More than 150 JROTC cadets participated in the fourth annual Raiders Challenge at the 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base March 27. There were 13 total teams from schools in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas. The event is part of the JROTC program. It is designed to build teamwork, camaraderie and interpersonal skills.

"It gives the cadets something to strive and work for, and along the way they become stronger mentally and physically," said Tech. Sgt. Jackie Moser, of the 139th.

The course consisted of a rope climb, ball throw, knot tying, map reading, military vehicle pull, and weight lifting drills. The cadets were also able to fly in a C-130 aircraft as well as hear from the 139th Commander Mike McEnulty.

Burns said the students were able to meet new friends and socialize with students from the other schools. He said that added to their overall experience.

"They had sportsmanship with each other regardless of where they were from," said Burns. "The determination in these kids makes you proud."

"There were no low points to the challenge," he added. "They had to be physically fit and mentally challenged and we used both."

The 139th Airlift Wing sponsors and funds the Raiders Challenge for the JROTC program.