5th Brigade Drill Competition honors drill teams

Seniors Brian Lemus, David Rodriguez, Zachary Cain and Darius Brown compete in the Armed Color Guard phase.

By Hailey Massey | Assistant Editor |

Rifles spun and drillers marched in a rhythmic tone at the 2019 5th Brigade Drill competition, which was held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Jan. 26. Both Local and out of state drill teams competed at the meet totaling in 18 teams competing for a chance to go to Army Nationals in March.

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is split into 8 sections called Brigades, with each Brigade holding multiple states. Texas is included in the 5th alongside with JROTC programs from Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

The Riderettes perform in the Unarmed Exhibition phase.

Roosevelt High School’s own program, The Rough Rider Battalion participated in the drill competition by bringing their Armed team; The San Juan Guard and their Unarmed Team; The Riderettes. Both teams have had high placements for the past four years, but what separated this year from the following was the amount of freshmen competing this year; outweighing the low number of veteran seniors.

“Despite the mishap with getting the official placements and the team accidentally placing 1st instead of 2nd, it was a very good drill competition. ” said Senior David Rodriguez, commander of the San Juan Guard, “I’m proud of my drillers and myself because we were able to continue on the San Juan Guard legacy. I can’t wait to have my team continue to thrive at Army Nationals.”

The San Juan Guard perform in the Armed Regulation Phase.

After a long day of drilling, The San Juan Guard placed 2nd overall with multiple separate placings in Color Guard, Inspection, Exhibition, and Regulation; advancing them to Army Nationals. However, despite the constant practices and dedication, The Riderettes placed 11th overall due to a five-point tiebreaker, but, placed 3rd in the North East Independent School District and separately placed in Regulation.

“We put a lot of time and dedication into preparing for 5th Brigade and it’s a little disappointing to not advance,” said Freshman Giselle Castellanos, first year member of The Riderettes, ” I knew we put in our all, and ultimately that’s all that matters. I know we’ll get there next year.”