Camden Military Academy Black Jack Drill Team returned from competition
Camden Military Academy Black Jack Drill Team returned from their first ever John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition, held in Richmond, Virginia on March 14, 2015, with a total of nine trophies, including the overall National Championship for “Black Jack” units.
The drill team consisted of 1SG John Kloetzli, Commander Nick Hillsheim, Executive Officer Griffin Bach-Davis, Cooper Halabi, Kris Strain, Kevin Phillips, Beau Oswald, William Bradley, Michael Hanlon, Nathaniel Hanlon, Thomas Azrelyant, Cameron Carr and Anthony Brown. The squad had been trained for weeks by TAC Officers CSM Terrell and SFC Brown.
Though this was their first appearance in the competition, the cadets handled the pressure like experienced veterans, as they competed against three other schools. Each of these drill teams had taken an oath of commitment, as had the CMA Black Jack Drill Team, by Generals of the U.S. Army and the Pershing Rifles Alumni Association.
During the competition, as the CMA Drill Team performed maneuvers more familiar to the U.S. Army drill manual, the judges were visibly impressed. They were also likely more critical of the CMA Cadets, since the boys’ routines were similar to their own.
When the dust settled, Cadets Oswald and Kloetzli had won 2nd Place in the Dual Exhibition. Cadets Carr and Azrelyant won 1st Place in Dual Exhibition. Cadets Kloetzli, Oswald, Carr, Azrelyant, Bach-Davis, Bradley and Hillshiem won 2nd Place for Squad Exhibition. Cadets Halabi, N.Hanlon, Carr and Oswald placed 3rd in Color Guard. Cadets Carr, Kloetzli, N. Hanlon, Bradley, Oswald and Azrelyant were led to a 2nd Place in Regulation Squad Drill by Commander Bach-Davis. Finally, the CMA Black Jack Drill Team was awarded the National Championship for Black Jack Drill.
by Maj. Tariq Ghaffar