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Students get locked in with JROTC

October 06, 2009|By RACHAEL JOHNSON / Pulse correspondent

INWOOD, W.Va. -- What better way to get to know people then to spend all day  with them?

That's what Air Force Reserve Office Training Corps (AFJROTC) cadets at Mussleman High School had a chance to do the night of Sept. 25.

The AFJROTC is made up of students, grades nine to 12. The Berkeley County Unit is WV-071. 

Beginning at 5 p.m. cadets were "locked in" at the school where the played video games, ate pizza, played sports, marched -- and got to know each other. 

The night started of with a run-down of the rules and then it was time to eat. Many cadets gorged themselves on junk food and one unlucky cadet learned how Monster Energy and soda can make you quite ill.

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After consuming large amounts of sugar and caffeine it was time for the ice-breaker. The student made a circle and every time they had something in common with someone else they would switch places. This helped many students who are new to the program meet people and make friends.

Then the real fun began -- 

video games. Many of the teens rushed to play "Call of Duty." Some other cadets felt like "Rock Band" was better Then there were a few to choose to play "Monopoly: Air Force Edition."

Each student had a different reason why they decided to join AFJROTC.

"Mainly I joined because of discipline and my dad was in the Army," said Tyrisha Ledbetter, 18, a student at Martinsburg High School.

Tom Parker, 18, another student at Martinsburg High, said he joined so he can jump rank in the military.

He said the lock in was, "different, but the organization was solid."

He is a private in the U.S. Army and will be turning 19 soon.

Sam Pate, 17, also from Martinsburg High, said she didn't know why she joined JROTC, it was simply an impulse. So far she has stuck with it.

Sam is considering going into the Air Force. She said she found the lock-in fun and enjoyable. She said it was a good chance to meet all the freshmen and transfer students.  

After gaming, it was time for knock-out. In knock-out the cadets all fall into a flight, or group, and must follow all orders precisely or they are "knocked-out," and must fall out of the flight. 

A student can be taken out for anything from hesitating a command to moving their eyes. The final 10 remaining cadets all won simple prizes such as a Tinker Bell tiara or something as unusual as a box of 200 peanuts labeled "ha-ha!" 

Once that was finished the cadets went back to their games for about 20 minutes and then got ready to go to the parking lot at around 10:30 p.m. where they practiced marching. 

Once they finished marching the students returned inside and cleaned up the school. Their goal was to leave it nicer then when they arrived. It was nearly midnight by the time they were finished.

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