Rising Salisbury High sophomore excels as drill team commander

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — When Josh Lasker joined Salisbury High School’s drill team he never imagined he would move from caller to commander.
But the rising sophomore did just that, beating out seniors and juniors for the position.
“He showed the most initiative, drive and ability,” Maj. Queen Williams, a Junior ROTC instructor at the school, said. “It’s very unusual for a freshman to come in with that kind of drive. That’s why he stands hands and toes above other students”
Lasker said learning the 40-count drill was tricky, but leading the group came naturally.
“I liked being in charge,” he said. “I liked learning new things and teaching them to others.”
Williams said Lasker is a “cut above” his peers. That’s why he is the first freshman to earn the spot as commander.
“The reason I say that is because he is very cooperative, energetic and dependable,” she said.
Lasker led Salisbury High’s drill team to a fourth place finish in a state competition earlier this year.
He received 20 of 51 awards that are given out to Air Force JROTC members and earned the title of Cadet of the Year.
Williams said Lasker was selected as Cadet of the Year out of students from all grade levels.
“We look at the cadet that shines the most,” she said.
Lasker’s ability to balance volunteer work — more than 100 hours — and academics along with JROTC made him stand out. He is also working toward his Eagle Scout rank.
“He has the desire and the heart to do well,” Williams said.
Lasker said being part of JROTC has opened up opportunities to explore what a military career might be like.
He’s interested in joining the Air Force after graduating from high school.
This week he’s participating in the A.S.C.E.N.D. — Aviation Summer Camp: Exploring New Dimensions — program through a scholarship.
The program gives students an idea of what aviation careers are like.
Lasker said he’s also been able to travel to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro and MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
He said he plans to continue participating in JROTC throughout high school.
“I really love drill so I’m going to stick with it,” he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.