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East Rowan High JROTC cadets visit Fort Fisher

By Dalton Lambe and Jacqueline Wright

WILMINGTON — On Feb. 23 East Rowan JROTC cadets went to Wilmington for the North Brunswick High School Tri-Meet. The cadets stayed at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area for three nights and four days.

At Fort Fisher cadets were given a tour of the fort and taught the history of the battle. They were able to see relics from the battle and an interactive map of the entire battlefield. After hearing about the battle cadets went outside to tour the fort. On the tour they were able to see what Union troops would face while attacking the Confederate fort. Cadets even participated in a reenactment of attacking the fort to get a sense of what it was like.

The cadets then went inside the fort to see a gun emplacement and a bomb shelter. They were given a lesson on what happened inside the fort during the battle. One of the interesting facts is that not one bomb shelter was damaged during the battle. This is due mostly to their construction of wood and sand. The Union cannon balls would hit the sand and stop dead.

At the end of the tour cadets were able to go on the dunes to see the fort from the very top. This was a special treat for the cadets because the museum usually doesn’t allow visitors to go on them. Fort Fisher was a fun and educational experience for cadets.

The cadets then went to see the USS North Carolina Battleship and were allowed to walk around on their own for two hours. On the battleship cadets learned about its history in World War II. They were able to explore the entire ship to get an idea what sailors and marines went through during the war. Cadets learned about the different jobs on the ship and how daily life was conducted. During the two hours they were aboard, cadets learned an abundance of information about the ship and its service. The trip to the USS North Carolina was a valuable experience for cadets because it showed them a historical vessel that was named in honor of our great state.

After the visit to the battleship the cadets went back to the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area to practice for the Tri-Meet in their different teams. During this time the teams were able to work on anything they thought they needed to work on to be their very best.

The next morning the cadets went to the North Brunswick High School for the annual Tri-Meet. The cadets arrived at the school at 7 a.m. Each of the teams went to their assigned area or waited in the cafeteria until they were needed.

The drill team competed in platoon without arms, platoon with arms, squad without arms, squad with arms, color guard, exhibition drill and duet. They participated in all these events for the entire meet. Even though they did not win a trophy the meet was a great experience to new cadets to get practice in participating in a big meet. The raider team competed in the rope bridge, tug of war, PT test, litter carry and the PT test. They won second in the rope bridge competition and third in the tug of war competition.

The rifle team shot in the prone, keeling and standing positions. They shot inside the gym since there is no outdoor shooting range. During this event everyone had to be quiet so the teams could concentrate. Out of 25 different schools drill team came in fourth, raiders came in fourth and rifle team came in at ninth over all. After the Tri-Meet ended there was an award ceremony to give out trophies to the schools that earned them. This is where the raider team received their two trophies.

After the meet cadets left North Brunswick and went back to the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area.

The Tri-Meet to North Brunswick High School was a great experience for all cadets. They were able to learn about historical sites and competition in events. This trip is beneficial to all cadets regardless of their age. Cadets are able to strengthen their skills as leaders and meet new friends during the competition. This trip will continue to be a trip that all cadets will look back at when they leave high school.

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