JROTC National Raider Tournament


Sophia Campbell

White Station’s raider team huddles up before an event.

For the first time ever, White Station’s JROTC raider team went to Molena, GA to compete in the United States Army National Raider Championship. After qualifying at Battalion level, Brigade level and Core level, the White Station team placed 33rd in the country.

“It was really cool to see the best JROTC programs,” raider team member Annie Wilford (10) said.

To get prepared for the tournament, the team was carefully put together. They watched their diet and had to stay in shape for this physical competition.

“We practiced as a team. It’s a lot of working out and staying in shape and eating healthy,” Wilford said. “The majority of our team… we don’t go to raider practices after school; we just played a sport.” 

Eighty-one schools competed in five different events: a raider obstacle course with weights, a physical team test which consisted of a one-mile obstacle course, a 5k uphill run, a two-and-a-half mile simulation called cross country rescue and ultimate raider. 

“It [cross country rescue course] was a two mile and a half course, and we had 45-pound sacks and had to get over an eight foot wall with them and go through a mud pit,” Wilford said.

Not only did the team earn 33rd place, but they also built new relationships with people from all over the country.

“You get to meet people who are as passionate about something as you are,” Wilford said.

Overall, this experience encouraged the team to work harder next year and gain more leadership skills than they did this year. 

“I gained a lot of insight as to who I am as a leader and I gained the confidence to know that I am resilient in the face of a physical battle,” Wilford said.