The Silver Eagles Armed Drill Team from John Jay High School won their second straight National Championship at the National High School Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Jay Marching Mustangs Armed Drill Team and Clark High School Silver Valor Unarmed Drill Team were also crowned national champions.
The competition pits the “best of the best” high school drill teams in the country from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.
John Jay HS AFJROTC
The Silver Eagles Varsity Demilitarized Armed Drill Team competed in the Masters Level Competition and was crowned National Demilitarized Arms Champions for the second year in a row. The team also won the Air Force JROTC National Championship for an unprecedented tenth year in a row.
The Marching Mustangs Junior Varsity Armed Drill Team competed in the Challenge Level competition for the first time against 27 varsity drill teams from across the country and won the Challenge Level National Championship.
The Silver Eagles were inducted into the National Military Drill Hall of Fame, one of only six high school teams to ever receive this prestigious honor. Also inducted were former Jay AFROTC instructors Master Sergeant (Retired) Richard “Dick” Killian and Master Sergeant (Retired) David “Speedy” Gonzales.
This was the first time in the 34 year history of the National High School Drill Team Championships that one school has won both the Masters and Challenge Level competitions. The Silver Eagles and the Marching Mustangs are under the direction of Senior Master Sergeant James Henry.
Clark HS AFJROTC
The Silver Valor Unarmed Drill Team won the Masters Level Unarmed National Championship for the first time. They also claimed the 2016 title as the All Services Junior ROTC National Champion in the unarmed category.
The Centurion Guard Armed Drill Team was runner up Air Force Junior ROTC National Champions.
Clark instructor Senior Master Sergeant (Retired) Anthony Ruiz was inducted in the National Military Drill Hall of Fame. Major (Retired) Don Shackelford received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Brandeis HS AFJROTC
Last year’s champions, the Blue Aces Unarmed Drill Team, was runner up in the Masters Level Unarmed Championship and All Services National Championship. In the past six years, the Blue Aces have brought home one National Championship and five runner-up National Championships.