Written by Cadet First Lieutenant Isabelle Guevara, Battalion Assistant S5

The Newsome Wolfpack Battalion continues to achieve and improve upon all aspects of the Cadet experience it assists in ‘Preparing Students for Life’. Cadets from each Company showcased their skills at the December Cadet and NCO (Noncommissioned Officer) of the Month Boards. Cadet Private First-Class Zachary Bisbee won Cadet of the Month and Cadet Sergeant First Class Isabella White won the NCO of the Month board.

In a climactic finale to the season, the Newsome Raider teams, both Male and Mixed, competed at the State Championship held in Lake Wales. The Mixed Team placed second overall, taking home third place trophies in the Cross Country Rescue and Obstacle Course events, as well as a first place trophy in the Team Run. The Male Team placed fourth overall. Select Raiders participated in a competition designed specifically for ‘First Year’ Raiders only. The Newsome Raiders placed Third overall earning a First place trophy in the Obstacle Course and a Third place trophy in the Litter Carry event.

The Rifle Team competed in the US Army National Rifle Championship Qualifier at Sarasota Military Academy in December and placed Third overall with 2,092 points, placing16th overall in the Nation. It will compete in the National Championship to be held at Ft. Benning, Georgia in February. Five members will compete at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) National Championship match in Anniston, Alabama in February.

Congratulations to Cadet Staff Sergeant Valentina Di Zio who was recognized at the Hillsborough County District School Board Meeting in December. She won the North Tampa Veterans Association (NTVA) logo contest. Her drawing is now the official logo of the NTVA. In addition to a certificate, she also received a $25 gift card. Thanks to her achievement, the NTVA donated one hundred dollars to Newsome JROTC.

Several Cadets represented Newsome JROTC at the annual 5K Warrior Run held at Brandon High School. The Male, Female, and Mixed Teams all won First place overall for the third year in a row. Cadets Alex Bugeilski and Kayla Lucas won first place in their respective categories. As a result, five more trophies were brought back to the Wolf Den.

On December 12 the Battalion underwent their Annual JROTC Program Accreditation (JPA) inspection where it was evaluated on the development and execution of its Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP), Service Learning Project, Drill and Ceremony, Color Guard, and Company in Ranks Inspection. Cadet Major Dylan Renfro, the Battalion Executive Officer, was awarded the Outstanding Wolf Medal by Colonel Samuel Taylor, the District Area Instructor (DAI) and lead inspector, for doing an exceptional job.

The Battalion also maintained its Gold Star status as an Honor Unit with Distinction (HUD).