Raiders Raid History


photo by Ian Dauber

Sophomores Tanner Glasco and Nasem Obid as well as senior Anthony Del Rosario carry a 120lb stretcher in the Cross Country Rescue event. Tjis event acts as simulation for a real life survival situation.

Surprised, on the verges of tears, overjoyed:  the JROTC Raiders were emotional when they heard the qualified for the state competition.

“We have been practicing a lot, but we did not think that we could make it,” junior Nasir Roberts said. “We have a lot of new and unexperienced Raiders, so hearing we qualified was a shock.”

Their success at the University High School’s Raider Challenge Invitational led them to the state Raiders competition at Camp Flaming Arrow near Lake Wales on Friday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 2. At the competition they placed second in tier three in the Rope Bridge Construction with a school record time of two minutes and 21 seconds.

On Friday, Nov. 17-18, the team placed first in the 5K run and the Rope Bridge
Construction. They also received second place in the Tire Flip, the Raider Fitness Challenge and the Cross Country Rescue simulation sending them to states.

“This is the farthest that the team has ever gone,” 1st Sgt. Jose Vasquez said.  “We had the opportunity to go to states two years ago and it has been an adventure since then.”

The team consists of 10 competitors and two alternates, all varying in grade and rank. In preparation for the competition, the team practiced each of the five events that they would have to perform at states: Rope Bridge Construction, Raider Fitness Challenge, CCR, 5K Run and Tire Flip. For each event, the team had to stay together since the rules required Raiders to be a unified team.

During the Rope Bridge Construction, the cadets must construct and cross the bridge, which is entirely made out of rope and carabineers without touching the ground. The Raiders consider this one of the more challenging events that they must perform because it involves the most teamwork.

For the 5K run, they have to run three miles and unlike cross country, they must stay together the whole run.

“We are only as fast as our slowest runner,” Master Sgt. Jared Strickle said.

In the CCR, the team must carry a 120lb stretcher and 30lb rucksacks (backpacks) around a mile obstacle course. This event acts as simulation for a real life rescue of an injured soldier who needs medical assistance.

For the Raider Fitness Challenge, cadets must go through a half mile obstacle course where they carry out tasks like low crawls, ammo can carries, over unders, rucksack carries, and carrying a beached canoe. A tactic that they follow is dividing the team in two so that they can more efficiently carry out the task.

The Tire Flip event consists of the team splitting up into two groups of five where one group will first flip a 250-500lb tire 50 meters, then the other half of the team will flip it back 50 meters to the initial point.

Between each event there is about an hour break to relax, regroup and plan for the next event.

During the whole competition, the cadets face trials, mental and physical, from falling over or wanting to give up.

“While running through mud in the CCR, I had not tripped at all, until like the final 10 meters,” junior Kleymer Revis said. “[Luckily] I was in the front so I did not have to hold anyone up.”

Throughout all of the events they ensured to keep working like how they did in practice while focusing on their strengths and teamwork.

“There were no specific struggles actually, though all the events are physically exhausting and require copious amounts of effort on the part of the cadets,” Battalion Commander Carson George said.

Despite being surprised at making it to the states competition, the cadets made sure to perform their best while competing.

“[They] were excited and ready to take home a trophy, which they did,” George said. “[Everyone was] ecstatic about winning their first state award; both the cadets and our instructor couldn’t stop mentioning that it was our first state award ever.”

The Raiders team complete the Rope Bridge Construction event where they received second place, bringing home their first ever trophy from a state competition. They had a school record time of 2:21.