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    FRIENDS Make Good Impression

    FRIENDS Make Good Impression

    Photo By Spc. Kaden Pitt | Local Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets pose for a group photo with...... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Kaden Pitt 

    7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT HOOD, Texas – Standing in the III Corps Headquarters Building, students in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) from four local high schools prepare to be tested mentally and physically during the Child and Youth Services FRIENDS event, Jan. 23, 2020.
    “Today, we had the students from the local JROTC programs come to III Corps to participate in several challenges, testing their physical capabilities, their knowledge of III Corps history and ability to solve mental tests,” Sgt. Dennis Dean, special security office, III Corps, said. “The students really outperformed my expectations; they did an amazing job.”
    The students, who came from Killeen, Shoemaker, Ellison and Harker Heights high schools, started the day by receiving words of encouragement from Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Hendrex, senior enlisted advisor of III Corps and Fort Hood.
    “The Army is never about the individual, it’s all about the team,” Hendrex said. “You each bring strengths and weaknesses to your team and that’s okay.”
    The students then paired off into teams of five and began to receive a III Corps history lesson from World War I to the present, information they would need to recall later in the ensuing challenges.
    The students were soon led outside and partnered with a grader to begin the competition.
    “Throughout the past week we’ve been working on this nonstop in order to make sure every aspect of the competition runs smoothly,” Dean said. “The competition consisted of eight stations designed to show the full Soldier concept.”
    These stations were designed to test the students in both their physical ability as well as their mental prowess. From leg tucks and buddy carries to puzzle solving and history knowledge, the students were given the opportunity to push themselves.
    “This gives these kids the ability to get out of the classroom and do something physical,” Percy Brown, Killeen High School JROTC instructor, said. “Most of them are on physical fitness teams already, so they love a challenge.”
    The challenge was not only a test of physical aptitude, however, it also measured their ability to work as a team.
    “It’s not just about you,” Col. Hank Perry, III Corps chief of staff, said. “It’s about taking care of the people on your left and right and working together. Certainly, we want you to be physically fit and emotional strong, but it’s all about fitting in as a team.”
    The students were pushed to work together with many of the challenges having a focus on collective effort. The students were encouraged to take on leadership roles and motivate each other.
    “This has been a great opportunity for us to learn leadership skills,” Jacob Newlin, Ellison High School JROTC cadet, said. “It’s really helped me learn that sometimes a leader has to come in last and help the people who are struggling.”
    Once the competition finished, the three first place teams chose the top contributors to be presented with challenge coins by Hendrex. After that, the directors of each schools' JROTC program where also given coins.
    “These coins do two things, we give them to show excellence and they’re placed on the caskets of our fallen, so that shows just how much it means when we give them out,” Hendrex said. “These teams stayed together, fought together and were focused on the task at hand. They worked together to complete their tasks as a team.”
    Among those rewarded was Dean for his work in organizing the event.
    “I think it went very well,” Dean said. “Of course, when you plan something out on paper it never goes exactly as planned, but I think it ended up working better than I could have ever expected.”
    The III Corps team strove towards the goal of giving these students the ability to see what their possible future military careers might look like.
    “We want to give them an understanding of what it truly means to be Army strong,” Dean said. “We hope they can take away what Army life really is and what it can do for you. The main purpose was letting them walk away with a good impression of what we do here.”



    Date Taken: 01.23.2020
    Date Posted: 01.28.2020 03:42
    Story ID: 360146
    Location: FORT HOOD, TX, US 

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