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University of Colorado NROTC Unit Hosts Competition

05 March 2019

From Michael F. Miller

The University of Colorado Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit hosted their annual multi-event competition, March 1-2.

The University of Colorado Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit hosted their annual multi-event competition, March 1-2.

Midshipmen from 11 NROTC units across the country came together to participate in a series of events to be named the winner of the Colorado meet.

“This was another fantastic event put on by our midshipmen, although the snowy weather did create an extra challenge,” said Cmdr. Charles Brown, executive officer of the Colorado NROTC unit. “Our unit fine-tuned and improved from the past year’s in terms of running the event, and it was an instrumental learning tool for how they will lead in the fleet.”

The meet, which has been taking place for 25 years, consisted of multiple events including a shooting competition, drill events, knowledge competition and an endurance race.

Midshipman 2nd Class Alexander McLaren, officer-in-charge (OIC) of the meet, said it was an incredible experience in what it takes to plan and run an operation of this size.

“We started planning the event in September and taking the lessons learned from the previous event has really helped make things run smoothly,” said McLaren, a junior at Colorado from Brighton, Michigan. “The biggest leadership lesson in running the event is learning how to delegate. You have to empower the younger midshipmen that are working under you and see how much they can take on.”

Each participating unit provided a shooting team for the pistol and rifle event that took place at the Boulder Police Department’s indoor range.

The drill events included color guard, squad and platoon drill and were judged by Assistant Marine Officer Instructors (AMOI) from the participating units.

The knowledge event pitted teams of four midshipmen against each other in a round-robin tourney. Teams each had a buzzer and were asked questions on Navy and Marine Corps history and basic military knowledge.

The endurance race, included various stations in its multi-hour course. Each unit provided a six-person team. The race began at the indoor pool on campus with swimming challenges before heading outside and into the mountains for stations that included push-ups, sit-ups, land navigation, fire man carry and many more.

“This was the first time I have competed in an endurance race and it was extremely challenging,” said Midshipman 3rd Class Taylor Evans, a sophomore from the University of New Mexico and native of Ohio. “The carrying of all the gear up and down the mountain was exhausting, especially with all the snow. Swimming, though, was something we will have to work on for next year.”

The University of Colorado finished first overall at the competition and, followed by the University of Oklahoma. Finishing third was the University of Kansas.

The NROTC program is overseen by Rear Adm. Mike Bernacchi and his Naval Service Training Command staff at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. NROTC was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and core values in order to commission college graduates as Navy and Marine Corps officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in uniformed services and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC also includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp also at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy ROTC program at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) Newport, Rhode Island, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.

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