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Bloomfield High NJROTC Does Well In National Competition
Updated May 5, 2013 1:11 AM
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(BLOOMFIELD) - The Bloomfield High School Navy Junior ROTC (NJROTC) placed 13th in the annual Navy Junior ROTC National Orienteering Championship Invitational on February 15-16 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

The Greene County Daily World reports that Bloomfield was the only school from Indiana, and one of only two from NJROTC's Area 03, that competed in the 26-school national field.

Bloomfield finished the competition tied for 13th place overall.

"Orienteering requires cadets to use maps and compasses to locate markers placed in wooded areas over rough terrain. The course length for the first day was nearly three miles and in excess of three miles on the second day. Because the event is timed, cadets must combine land navigation skills with speed, agility, and physical endurance," according to LCDR USN Ret. Frank Starr, who serves as the Bloomfield High School NJROTC Senior Naval Science Instructor.

Team members included: Scotland McKinzie, Bart Query, Richey Lifford, Alex Ickes, Dalton Hill, Steven Bond, James Whayne, Dalton Byers, and Gage Abrams.

There was some time on the trip to enjoy the historic sites.

The first day began by visiting the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. From there, cadets were able to see, though not visit, the National Security Agency (NSA) at Ft. Meade, MD and the location where George Wallace was shot in Laurel, MD while running for president in 1972.

From there, cadets visited Washington, D.C. sites including the various Smithsonian Institute buildings, Ford's Theater where Abraham Lincoln was shot, and Washington Monument, and they were able to see the U.S. Capitol and White House, as well.
"On the second day, cadets participated in a flag raising ceremony at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore at the very site where the national ensign flew that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. Cadets raised Bloomfield's "traveling flag" which they raised above the USS Arizona Memorial last year in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii," Starr explained.

After touring Ft. McHenry, cadets visited the USS Constellation, the last "all mast" ship the Navy commissioned (1855).

Cadets participated in preparing a 20-pound cannon for fire. They also got to see the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter "Taney," the last surviving cadets saw the Pentagon while traveling to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. They also visited gravesites of President John Kennedy and his brothers, Robert and Ted, Major Audie Murphy (most highly decorated U.S. soldier of WWII), Colonel Robert Howard (most highly decorated U.S. soldier ever), and countless others dating as far back as the Civil War. Afterwards, cadets visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

"There was plenty more to see and do, but time was limited. Although the cadets had to miss three days of school, the experiences and lessons learned can only serve to enhance their educational and life experiences," Starr stressed.

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