The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

June 23, 2013

Athens JROTC cadets win top honors at leadership event

The News Courier

— Several Athens High School students who are cadets in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) performed well above their peers this week to capture top leadership and physical fitness honors at the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at Fort McClellan.

Athens Golden Eagles Battalion Commander Ashli Morris was recognized as the best leader in her company. She also surpassed 150 peers to achieve the best score in her company on the Army physical fitness test. Ashli, along with fellow Athens cadet Trey Riffey, were also members of the camp’s best drill team.

Daniel Naylor out-performed more than 450 cadets to capture the overall best score on the physical fitness test for the entire camp. Re’Shod McDonald was recognized as an outstanding athlete as his platoon won the flag football and soccer competitions. Other Athens JROTC cadets participating in this year’s JCLC include Trey Riffey, Lucila Jimenez and Tyler Clarke,

The leadership challenge is an annual summer leadership camp at which selected cadets from Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine JROTC units from high schools throughout Alabama meet to learn new skills, demonstrate their capabilities, compete in sports and enjoy the fun and camaraderie of working together.

Col. Eli Ballard, senior instructor of the Athens JROTC program, said of his cadets, “While my partner, Chief James Chambers, and I are very proud that our young people won several top awards and performed with excellence in every area of the camp’s activities, we are most proud of their consistent self-discipline and respect for others.  The cadets who participated in this year’s leadership challenge are expected to fill vital positions in the Athens Golden Eagle JROTC Battalion during the coming school year.”