Pictured (from left) Dylan Lecce, Austin Muir and Davis Corda are combining scores after cadets leave the drill pad.

Cadets compete

UD Air Force ROTC hosts inaugural Blue Hen Classic drill competition

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9:37 a.m., Jan. 30, 2014--The University of Delaware’s 128th Cadet Wing, Air Force ROTC, hosted its inaugural Blue Hen Classic Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Drill Competition on Jan. 18 at the Delaware Air National Guard base.

More than 200 area students participated in the event from high schools in Kent and New Castle counties and from Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

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JROTC students practice year round for important drill competitions and Dennis Wilcutts III, the Detachment 128th Cadet Wing commander, said he created the Blue Hen Classic “as a way to get a bunch of high school students together and give them something to strive for.”

Present at the competition were U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard JROTC teams. 

Competing alongside one another, the JROTC cadets participated in six different events with the hopes of impressing panels of judges: inspection, unarmed regulation, armed regulation, unarmed exhibition, armed exhibition and color guard.

While the competition was held in one hangar for the cadets and spectators, there was another hangar that enabled the cadets to experience hands-on activities related to different career fields within the armed forces.

Cadets were able to ask questions and gain information about the UD AFROTC program and about the University itself.

After a long day of striving for excellence, the teams ended the day with a game of “knockout,” with UD Cadet Jacob Fletcher calling the commands. 

Taking the top three awards in the knockout competition were Justin Bryant of William Penn High School, who won the event; Morenzo Palmer of Caesar Rodney High School, who took second; and Dillon Beasley of Dover High School, who took third. 

The winners in each of the six categories were as follows:

  • Unarmed Regulation -- Caesar Rodney High School
  • Armed Regulation -- Caesar Rodney High School
  • Unarmed Regulation -- William Penn High School
  • Armed Exhibition -- Caesar Rodney High School
  • Color Guard -- Christiana High School
  • Inspection -- William Penn High School 

The overall winners of the inaugural Blue Hen Classic competition were:

  • Caesar Rodney High School, first place;
  • William Penn High School, second place; and
  • Middletown High School, third place.

“Inspiring high school students about the armed forces is excellent, but inspiring students to go above and beyond by furthering their educations and joining ROTC on a college campus is even better,” said UD Cadet Kyle DiCuirci.

The UD cadet wing and surrounding JROTC schools extended a special “thank you” to the Delaware Air National Guard and all the volunteers who assisted with the competition.

Competitors came from Caesar Rodney High School, Christiana High School, Delaware Military Academy, Dover High School, Middletown High School, Smyrna High School, William Penn High School and Pocomoke (Md.) High School. 

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