The East Surry High School JROTC joined with schools across the nation and beyond on Saturday in celebration of the JROTC program.
Cadets hosted the local “100 Years of Service” celebration with a full line-up of activities, food and fellowship.
The day started at 8:15 with cadets competing in individual and duet drill competition.
Afterwards, friends and family were invited to join in for what was billed as a Guinness Book of World Records attempt to set a record for the largest simultaneous 5k run/walk. Starting times at locations in the United States and internationally were staggered to allow for time differences, providing the simultaneous start.
According to East Surry JROTC instructor First Sergeant Ron Montgomery, some 1,500 schools from 48 states and 9 countries took part in the effort and an estimated 35,000 were expected to participate.
Locally, more than 70 cadets, friends, family members and program supporters took part.
Top finishers were Adrian Carow, with a time of 19:20, followed closely by Bradley Snow (19:24) and Gonzalo Chavez (19:59). The top non-cadet was 52-year-old Jeff Nixon with a time of 22:18. The top female finisher was Ashlyn Nagel at 24:31. Other noteworthy finishers included 12-year-old Nicholas Montgomery with a time of 24:40. First and second place finishers for males and females were awarded trophies.
“We were glad to have a great number come out for the 5k,” noted Cadet Battalion Commander Samuel George. “This has been a really good year for the JROTC program.”
Afterwards, cadets hosted a cookout with a variety of games provided for all.
According to its published history, “The United States Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) came into being with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916. Under the provisions of the Act, high schools were authorized the loan of federal military equipment and the assignment of active duty military personnel as instructors. In 1964, the Vitalization Act opened JROTC up to other services and replaced most active duty instructors with retired members of the armed forces, who work for and are cost-shared by the schools.”