» By ERICKA CONLEY – econley@my.apsu.edu

APSU hosted the “Raider Blitz,” a yearly JROTC competition where teams from area high schools come to compete on Saturday, Feb. 25.

“[This] will mark the first time APSU will host the Raider Blitz. APSU ROTC hosts the Raider Challenge JROTC competition each fall and now we will be hosting the Raider Blitz JROTC competition every spring,” said Nicholas Shumpis, ROTC cadet.

APSU ROTC, in collaboration with the Admissions Office, Campus Police, U.S Army Recruiting Command and the Tennessee National Guard put on the event.

“APSU ROTC conducts the Raider Blitz in order to provide training and military development through strenuous mental and physical challenges, while also fostering citizenship and strengthening the leadership development process in JROTC Raiders,” Shumpis said.

There were a total of 15 teams competing for the fastest time over a three-mile course. There were seven stations along the course, where teams had to execute a military-oriented mission in accordance to task, conditions and standards.

“There are no specific requirements to be a part of the competition other than a high school being able to field a 10 person JROTC team with alternates,” Shumpus said.

Teams maneuvered with a guide who assisted in navigating the course safely and maintaining the team’s time throughout the course.

The competing teams consisted of 10 competitors with a minimum requirement of at least one female on each team. The event began with the first team negotiating the course at 6:30 a.m. and the last team finishing by 12:30 p.m. An awards ceremony followed at 1:00 p.m.

Rossview High School placed first in the competition, Northwest High School placed second and West Creek High School came in third.

Shumpus’ role was to market the event and to get support from campus and local media. During the event, he assisted the Recruiting Operations Officer, Capt. Amy Buck, at a recruiting table.

The table was manned during the entire event and offered parents and students information to teach them about the ROTC program and how to apply to APSU.

Lt. Col. Robert Gordon, professor of Military of Science and in charge of ROTC at APSU, said the event was run entirely by students.

Nine students were recognized for being contracted into the Army. The cadets were told to raise their right hands and took the oath of office. The crowd cheered and applauded for their friends and loved ones.

A special award was given to Campus Police Officer, Sgt. Georganna Genthner, thanking her for overseeing the safety of the cadets while performing their maneuvers.

“It was a very successful day. [The obstacles] were mentally and physically challenging for them. They all did very well and it gave them a chance to demonstrate teamwork and leadership. It was a really successful day overall and we are all really happy with the results,” said Cadet Patricia Peterson, a sophomore at APSU. TAS