Arlington High School’s AFJROTC cadets competed for the first time at the national championships . From left, instructor Maj. Mike Blue, and cadets Shelby Birdsong, Jadeziah Blue, Alex Seuthprachack and Lucas Jankovic. (Courtesy Photo)

Arlington cadets compete at nationals for 1st time

ARLINGTON- Cadets from Arlington High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps recently attended the National High School Drill Team Championships for the first time in the program’s history.

The experience they gained was invaluable, they said.

“We learned so much from observing the other teams,” said Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Jadeziah Blue. “They were very focused and precise. We know what we need to work on.”

Four cadets and an alternate attended the conference May 5-7 in Daytona Beach, Fla. Arlington’s team placed 24th out of 41 teams in the Open Level Color Guard category. Arlington was the highest-placing team from Washington state in that category.

Less than five percent of the thousands of JROTC units nationally are accepted to compete at the championships. More than 4,000 cadets from over 150 schools in 30 states attended.