Captain (Ret) Len Blaylock III
From June 4th-9th, Cadets Ny’Leah Trotter and Teddy Gregory participated in the annual JROTC JCLC which is held at Camp Robinson in NLR, Arkansas. The camp consists of a small percent of cadets from all participating JROTC schools in Arkansas and 19 schools from the Shelby County School District which encompasses most of Memphis, TN. Camp began with over 460 cadets and 75 JROTC instructors. While several cadets did not meet the requirements and rigors of the camp, most remained and excelled. Cadets were intentionally dispersed into platoons with cadets from different schools for a few reasons. Teddy and Ny’Leah were placed in the 1st and 4th platoons respectively out of eight and rarely saw each other during the week because of differing training schedules.
Although we did not request that either cadet be placed in a leadership position, Teddy Gregory’s leadership potential was recognized by his platoon cadre and he was promoted to Squad Leader. He led his squad by providing motivation and guidance in sometimes austere conditions through challenging team events.
Training they completed includes: survival training, land navigation, obstacle course, obstacle crossing (one-rope bridge), rappelling, leadership reaction course, water safety, and others. Cadets performed physical fitness training every morning, sang cadences everywhere they marched and had a great time building camaraderie amongst new friends. The week of training was wrapped up with a block-style party on the last night where the Army Band played a variety of musical genres including mostly contemporary pop music that resonated with the cadets.
During the Awards Presentation a variety of individual awards are given to top performers in a variety of events. There are also a couple of team awards as well. Ny’Leah’s platoon (4th Platoon) won big, earning a medal for being the most highly motivated platoon. This was determined by a panel as platoons competed by reciting their Platoon Motto. 4th Platoon also won the best overall platoon, which earned them a special red shirt.
Ny’Leah and Teddy had the following things to say about camp:
Q: What was your favorite thing about camp?
Ny’Leah: “The experience of JCLC, meeting new people, and doing new things with other people as a team.”
Q: What was your least favorite thing?
Ny’Leah: “The heat and drinking all that water.”
Teddy: “MREs” (those are meals-ready-to-eat)
Q: What would you tell someone who is considering going next summer?
Ny’Leah: “It was Fun!”
Teddy: “Break in your boots before camp, otherwise, you will get blisters.”
Additionally, Teddy wishes more Warren Lumberjack Cadets would attend the camp.