CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Island University brought in junior ROTC (JROTC) teams from across the state on Saturday, April 1, during the 8th annual Islander Challenge. With more than 120 students in attendance, the event was designed to expose JROTC cadets to the Island University campus, raise awareness of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Army ROTC and encourage friendly competition while increasing “esprit de corps” or team morale and loyalty among the JROTC programs and challenge participants.
“This event creates the opportunity to not only challenge these young men and women physically but mentally as well,” said Captain Douglas Cruise, Assistant Professor of Military Science at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “It’s an opportunity for self-development and confidence building. We want them to know that not only do we train men and women to be leaders in the military, but to also to be leaders in life.”
The Islander Challenge began with a 5K run that circled the campus before cadets moved on to five events, including:
With 15 schools in participation and four new events made especially for this year’s challenge, it was a first-time experience for many.
“I was really excited, I’ve never participated in a competition on the beach or visited the Island University before this,” said Elric Botello, junior and JROTC member at Lytle High School. “I wanted to try something new and just get out and have a fun and different experience because for me being active is important, plus it was also a great chance to make some new friends.”
An event five months in the making, Islander Battalion cadets helped to coordinate all challenges and monitor the safety and well-being of participants. Clear Falls High School was the team who won overall in the events and took home bragging rights as well as the Islander Challenge Cup.
For more information on the A&M-Corpus Christi Army ROTC, visit http://rotc.tamucc.edu/.