Santaluces ROTC Qualify for National Competition


Picture by Colonel Stone

The ROTC team.

Daniela Martinez, Staff Writer

     Qualifying for the National Level II competition, Bryan Vasquez, commander of the academic team, and Freynika Celmo, commander of the leadership team, led their teams to victory at their competition in the midst of COVID-19 and its chaos.

      Observing them at their competition, both teams appeared to be calm and collected. In two separate sessions, the teams sit down at a table with the smart screen in front of them. The team’s commander inputs the answers as the cadets answer the series of questions. The test ranges from 5 to 7 sections varying the number of questions provided. Thinking as a team, they scored enough points to move forward.

      “I try to find as many resources as I can, especially since the competition covers a wide variety of sections and topics [math, reading comprehension, science, military history/knowledge, and current events]. I tend to try and use resources like the practice test that were provided to us by the army as well as the SAT and ACT practice questions,” says Junior Cadet Vasquez regarding the preparation of his team for the competition. 

      Due to COVID-19, cadets are having practices online. Junior Cadet Celmo holds practices twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays, via Google meet. However, it’s not as easy as you may think.

      “At first it was kind of awkward since we were speaking to each other through a computer screen, but as we held more practices, the awkwardness subsided and we became more comfortable with speaking to one another,” says Cadet Celmo.

     Because of the circumstances, everything automatically becomes more difficult for the cadets. But these cadets pushed through these tough times and excelled at their duty. They especially didn’t let their nerves take over. The excitement rushing in their blood motivated them to surpass their own expectations. 

     “I expected them to work cohesively and try their very best and I can fully say they’ve surpassed my expectations,” says Cadet Celmo about the performance of her team.


Academic and Leadership team members
Picture by Colonel Stone

      These student leaders have gone above and beyond to ensure their teams are prepared. As a result of their hard work, they will now be competing at the National level. The national level is another test of academic and leadership questions. Except, the number of questions and the level of difficulty will change heavily now that the competition is getting tougher. May the best team win.