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The Patriot Voice

The Student News Site of Veterans Memorial High School

The Patriot Voice

The Student News Site of Veterans Memorial High School

The Patriot Voice

Student Registration is open
Victor Garcia, Staff writer • May 21, 2024
Seniors celebrate accomplishments
Jordan Estevez, Staff Writer • May 21, 2024

Patriots never back down

JROTC wipes out the competition
The Red Soldier exhibition drill team before competing. (Albert Feliciano Otero)

In 1916, the U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) was one of the world’s most significant character development and citizenship programs for youth. According to the Army ROTC website, the National Defense Act of 1916 established organized JROTC programs at public and private educational institutions.
The JROTC program shapes a better life for young adults through discipline, leadership, and service. It prepares students with skills for life and what to expect if they join the military. The VMHS JROTC Patriot Battalion has participated in four competitions this year at Wagner, Somerset, Reagan, and East Central to show off our school.
To start the year, the Patriot Battalion competed at Wagner High School, adding new cadets. Apollo Anticliff, cadet Lt. Col., said they were a little rusty after returning from summer break.
“A few newbies were a bit nervous, but they still went out there with drill, leadership and academic bowl (JLAB), physical training, and marksmanship, even though they did not come back with any trophies,” Apollo Antcliff explained.

The male Physical Training team is on the final stretch. (Albert Feliciano Otero)

During the second competition at Somerset High School, the Patriot Battalion’s color guard placed second. They also got first place in marksmanship and exhibition drill. They won second place for regulation drill and inspection, then third place in JLAB.
When attending the Reagan High School contest, they competed in the color guard competition and placed first. They won second place in the exhibition drill.

At the year’s final competition at East Central High School, the team started the day with physical fitness challenges. Then, they immediately rushed over to participate in an unarmed drill and inspection: regulation and exhibition. They then competed with two color guard teams: a male and a coed team. The day concluded with the JLab team earning four trophies.
As 2023 drew to a close, the Patriot Battalion cadets honored and remembered the fallen service members during Wreath Across America. “It hits home,” said Cadet Antcliff. “I want to be in the military and wreaths across America is all about remembering those who have served. But to me, it feels very calming and peaceful, and it brings me joy watching people lay wreaths on the graves of the fallen.”
What do these students want to get out of ROTC? The answers vary.

Freshman Tyler Pena stated, “My brother’s influence and my family members were in the military, mainly my brother because he did ROTC, and I want to follow in his footsteps. JROTC does help me think about myself more positively, and I’ve been able to express myself more openly. I enjoy it because I see each person in it as if I’m close to them. But I want to go into college to become a forensic scientist”.
Sophomore Joshua Padula stated, “The learning of self-discipline trying to give me some leadership skills to go into the military in the future,” Sophomore Joshua Padula said. “It mentally strengthened my mind and helped me push through some things that I didn’t think I was going to be able to take care of, so yes, absolutely, I would like to be able to join the Air Force to become a pararescue specialist.”
“I want to develop my leadership skills,” said junior Lukas Carter. “So I can join the Army. It mentally toughened me because I went through a lot of stress, but from the stress, I learned to grow. I’m going through a learning experience and enjoying the moments and I want to join the Army as an officer.”
“I joined JROTC my freshman year so that I could grow as an individual and because I saw a career in the military,”

The female Physical Training team completed their first event. (Albert Feliciano Otero)

Senior Apollo Antcliff said. “However, I joined because my entire family was in the military, and I just decided, you know… I will do this because I feel it will be cool, and it did help me grow mentally. As a freshman, I was very shy and didn’t like to talk to anyone, so it helped me expand more socially. I am also already enlisted, and right now, I’m in the reserves. Still, after high school, I plan on attending college, studying Kinesiology, and then enlisting in the Army again as a commissioned officer, which is a great place to start.”



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About the Contributors
Abigail Rodney
Abigail Rodney, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Abigail and I am a junior in the class of 2025. I want to be a nurse when I am older. This is going be my first year as a yearbook and in the newspaper. My hobbies are listening to music, walking in my free time or talking to friends. I am the most generous person you can meet.
Honey Avendano
Honey Avendano, Staff Writer
My Name is Honey, I am a Sophomore, class of '26. I want to be a Fashion Designer when I am older. This is my first year in Yearbook and NewsPaper. My hobbies are cleaning, reading, and thrifting. I enjoy music, makeup, reading, writing, etc. I also enjoy being there for my family and friends whenever they need someone. I am the kind of person who will be there for you through dusk and dawn.
Albert Feliciano Otero
Albert Feliciano Otero, Staff Writer
Hello! I'm Albert Feliciano Otero, and this is my first year in Yearbook and Newspaper. I am a junior graduating in 2025. I'm a part of the Fine Arts beat for The Patriot Voice and The Patriot Echo. I am the Command Sergeant Major for the VMHS Patriot Battalion JROTC. I enjoy playing basketball, football, baseball, volleyball and tennis. My friends are the highlights of my day; they allow me to push forward. I aspire to be a sports journalist and analyst in the future.

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