ROTC cadets get tough in Raiders competition

On a recent Saturday afternoon, MHS Air Force JROTC members worked together at Hobart High School navigating different courses, obstacles and skills courses designed to test their physical strength, mental acuity and teamwork.  

This was one of the Raider Competitions held at JROTC programs around the country.

Senior Ivan Osorio climbs over the wall during one of the events at the recent Raiders competition. (Alison Skertic)

“I think the Raiders program is a really fun program and my students gain more confidence by joining my ROTC class and the Raiders program,” Major John Robinson said.

The goal is to work together to achieve something.

“It’s all about a group of people coming together from different backgrounds, different physical abilities, etc.,” Major Robinson said. 

The events included building a rope bridge and getting all the team across, as well as a 5K run and a litter run, which included scaling a wall and climbing under cages.

“It was exhausting and tiring. I wasn’t really thinking,” Senior Ivan Osorio said.

Raiders is designed to give participants a taste of what it might be like to serve in the military.

“I plan on enlisting in the Marines because it’s the toughest and hardest branch physically and mentally, and I want to put myself up to that challenge,” Osorio said.

“The Raiders program was a great program, even if it’s like a baby step to actually being in the military. It’s definitely a unique feeling that you won’t get from a sports team.”

Osorio enjoyed experiencing his team succeeding together.

“I thought it was a great program. I had a lot of fun, it’s hard working on my body, and it’s great to have all of my team members push through,” he said.

Sophomore Chloe Echols crosses a creek on a rope bridge as sophomore Connor Tabla waits to help her. (Alison Skertic)

Sophomore Chloe Echols returned to the Raiders program after competing last year, the first year the MHS team participated.

“I love Raiders and I think that it’s really fun, it forces you to stay fit, and it helps you create a bond with your team members“ Chloe Echols said.

She encourages others to join ROTC and Raiders.

“You create a bond with your team members and I think a lot of people should try to join the Raiders program, even if it’s not long term I think they should join it just to see what it’s about,” Echols said.

“I can confidently say that it’s not for everyone, but it’s a really cool program for people to at least try once in their life.”