Tuscola Drill Team continues it’s March!

Earlier this month, Tuscola High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC Drill team continued their drill competition season by participating in the Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School Marines Corps JROTC Drill and Academics event. In a very long day of challenging competition among two dozen JROTC teams; Tuscola Cadets came thru and delivered. The Drill Team finished ‘Best in Service’ OVER ALL! In order to achieve this top ranking; the Drill Team had to win or place in all the sub-categories…Tuscola earned ‘Best in Service’ in the following events: Color Guard, Personal Inspection, Armed Platoon/Flight, Unarmed Platoon/Flight, and 3rd place Freshman Academics.rs-central-6-tuscola-1st-year-unarmed-element


Lt Col Kevin Sutton, and I are very proud of our Cadets; each event continues to bring our team closer. Our Drill Team is very young and they have grown and matured so much after two events this season, said SMSgt Steve Robertson (Assistant Aerospace Science Instructor). We are very excited about their achievements thus far… especially our 1st-Years! We’ve proven we are one of the best Air Force JROTC units in our area, and we feel as though our competitors have taken notice, said Sergeant Robertson.

Tuscola’s JROTC Deputy Operations Squadron Commander-Cadet 2nd Lt Jonathan Delacruz and Special Teams Commander-Cadet SMSgt Jorja Aumen jointly led in the planning and execution of the drill event. Both of these cadets are in their second year and each one provides excellent leadership and energy to our Drill Team. In short, it was another outstanding overall team performance, both from our Cadets and Parents-Boosters. We absolutely need their support and we very much appreciate all they do for our program, said Sergeant Robertson. Next month, Tuscola is scheduled to compete in the annual Daniel Boone High School Marines Corps JROTC Drill event in Grey, Tennessee. Over twenty-five JROTC units are expected to participate and we certainly have our work cut out for us, but I do believe our Cadets will bring their “A” game and be ready to drill their best, said Sergeant Robertson.

THS JROTC Signs Up with Salvation Army

Tuscola’s Air Force Junior ROTC Cadets continued their volunteering tradition by once again signing up to man the kettles and ring the bells for the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is a critical fundraiser for their organization’s Christmas assistance especially their year-round programs that address social concerns in our community. JROTC cadets plan and lead all activities; and it was an easy choice for them to continue supporting our Salvation Army, said SMSgt Steve Robertson (Assistant Aerospace Science Instructor).

Our Cadet Corps has a long history of serving alongside our Waynesville Salvation Army and last weekend was no different. We signed up back in October to man two Kettles for the day. Over 30 cadets and parents came out, bringing smiles, handing out candy, and singing carols; I’m sure our efforts uplifted spirits and brought some holiday cheer to many shoppers, said Sergeant Robertson.



Tuscola’s JROTC Deputy Group Commander—Cadet Jade Lathrop, and our Executive Officer—Cadet Captain Dakota Warren tag-teamed the planning and execution of the “Bell-Ringing” event. It was another outstanding team performance from our Cadets, parents, and the Salvation Army. We’re very proud to be a part of this wonderful, community event, and are looking forward to helping the Salvation Army on their next mission, said Sergeant Robertson.


Tuscola JROTC Carols with Brian Center

Tuscola High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC Cadets entertained the residents at the Waynesville Brian Center last week with some holiday caroling.

JROTC cadets plan and lead all activities; and it was an easy choice for them to continue this particular community service event. Our upperclassmen play a big role in leading younger Cadets in events planning. Our Cadets began this event last year and  really enjoyed it so much, said SMSgt Steve Robertson (Assistant Aerospace Science Instructor).


Tuscola’s JROTC Deputy Group Commander–Cadet Jade Lathrop lead in the planning and execution of the event. Cadet Lathrop is involved with JROTC and chorus, so bringing her experience in both backgrounds together in this holiday caroling event was great for everyone especially the residents! It was an outstanding overall team performance, both from our Cadets and the staff at the Brian Center. We’re very proud to be involved in this wonderful event and look forward to continuing it in the future, said Sergeant Robertson.


NC-075 Delivers 8th State of the Corps

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, Tuscola Air Force Junior ROTC cadets presented their 8th Annual NC-075 ‘State of the Cadet-Corps’ briefing to the Town of Waynesville Board of Aldermen. Cadet Corps Commander C/Lt Col Joy Kelley, along with three other cadets;  C/2nd Lt Jack Leslie, C/2nd Lt Mayra Rios, and C/SSgt Aaleiah Cagle presented the briefing, which culminated with a resounding applause.

Left to Right: Lt Col Sutton, C/2nd Lt Mayra Rios, C/SSgt Aaleiah Cagle, C/2nd Lt Leslie, and Corps Commander C/Lt Col Joy Kelley

Air Force JROTC requires each unit to have their cadets plan, design, practice, and deliver their unit briefing during their annual higher-headquarters inspection. The unit briefing is one way for cadets to essentially show case all their hard-work. “AFJROTC curriculum is designed for students to plan and lead all the activities and events; so presenting their unit briefing usually comes easy when you have lots of examples to illustrate your hard-work and effort, especially community service,” said SMSgt Steve Robertson (Assistant Aerospace Science Instructor).

“Our Cadet Corps has a long history of serving alongside numerous agencies in our community.  From working with the Town of Waynesville, Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, Folkmoot, and most recently our annual support to the Waynesville Salvation Army…our cadets keep the calendar full. I know our cadets really enjoy coming each year to tell their story to the Town of Waynesville. Highlights of the Cadet Corps briefing included examples of the more than 150 community service events performed by the Cadet Corps during the first semester, amounting to nearly 1,200 community service hours. In other words…that’s more than 12 hours of community service per cadet,” said Sergeant Robertson. Community service is a big piece of the JROTC program as it directly ties to the Air Force JROTC mission statement, “Developing citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.”

“We’re very proud to be a part of this community and our Cadet Corps family looks forward to presenting the briefing as it details our accomplishments especially in community service events. Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown initiated this tradition when he began his service as mayor and thoroughly enjoys watching our cadets in action. Mayor Brown’s response tonight shows his confidence in JROTC, especially in how it affords students opportunities to engage in their community. We share his confidence in knowing America’s future is a bright one,” said Lt Col Kevin Sutton (Senior Aerospace Science Instructor).

Tuscola RAIDER Team Wins 1st Place!

On Saturday, our NC-075 RAIDER team participated in their first competition of the year; Erwin High School: “Hare in the Woods” Raider Meet.

Tuscola RAIDER Team wins Erwin Meet - 1st Place
Tuscola RAIDER Team wins Erwin Meet – 1st Place

Lt. Col. Kevin Sutton (Senior Aerospace Science Instructor) and I wish to thank Ms. Alma Amsler for volunteering to chaperone…she was a blessing to have with us today…thank you so much! OKAY…now to the results.

Wow!.!.! Congratulations NC-075 RAIDER TEAM MEMBERS…for making the commitment to the team…your hard word and dedication truly paid off today–as YOU left the event as the 1st PLACE WINNER!!! HOOAH!

Cadet MSgt Gage Dike truly prepared our Cadets to not just compete but WIN! Not only did we have the most teams; 4, but we defeated all branches of JROTC. Throughout the competition Tuscola NC-075 TEAM 1 lead the way; and ultimately brought home the TOP TROPHY. TEAM 1 was lead by Cadet 2nd Lt Jack Leslie; members were Cadet AB Bryson Winchester, Cadet AB Hunter Davis, and Cadet Amanda Ceron…superb team performance!

TEAM 2 was lead by Cadet MSgt Gage Dike; members were Cadet MSgt Matt Floyd, Cadet SSgt Troy Mason, and Cadet TSgt Kayla Hipp. TEAM 3 was lead by Cadet 2nd Lt Jonathan De La Cruz, members were Cadet 2nd Lt Nick Nicolas Stepp, Cadet TSgt Matthew Thompson, Cadet TSgt Mayra Rios, and Cadet AB Stormy Travis. TEAM 4 was lead by Cadet AB Cole Slater, members were Cadet AB Damien Velt, Cadet AB Elizabeth Bradley, and Cadet AB Joseph Miller.
ALL OF YOU…performed with awesome sportsmanship and gave everything you had. CONGRATULATIONS! 1ST PLACE WINNERS!

Monday morning, we will be presenting the 1st Place Trophy to our administration for posting it for viewing in A Bldg…Hooah!!!

Writer:  SMSgt Steve Robertson (Assistant Aerospace Science Instructor)