Battalion News

Cadets Visit USMA, USMMA, and USNA

The over 2,500 mile trip began Saturday, September 6th, ending Thursday, September 11th. Twenty of the Willard N.J.R.O.T.C. (Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) cadets left for a visit to three military academies. First up on the list was West Point, however the trip there was the beginning obstacle.

The United States Military Academy, otherwise known as West Point, is located in New York. After traveling over two thousand miles from Willard, the cadets arrived at their destination. Two Willard graduates are currently attending the academy, Zach Newman and Calvin Kieswetter. Luckily for them this week was something called branch week. Branch week is a week dedicated to help West Point cadets try to decide exactly what they want to do in the military. Also the cadets were allowed to participate in a P.T. (physical training) challenge, which is a part of a class required to be taken called Military Movement. The challenge consisted of multiple strenuous activities such as: army crawling, jumping off a balance beam and doing a summersault, climbing over a wall, and swinging across monkey bars. This year’s commanding officer, Matthew Walters said “I loved it, beautiful architecture, beautiful views. I am definitely pushing to get in.”

Their next destination was the United States Merchant Marine Academy, located in Staten Island, New York. The Willard N.J.R.O.T.C. graduate from last year, Brett Largent, is currently there. Our twenty cadets that attended were given the opportunity to tour the campus, getting an
inside look at walk its like to attend school and live day to day life. The best part about the entire
day according to some cadets was the simulator. Logan Bender said the academy was a “beautiful place” and had a “small tight knit community. I loved it.” Cadet Jacob Nelson said he was now really interested into USMMA, based the rewards and choices you have after they graduate.

The last campus that the cadets visited was the United States Naval Academy, located in Maryland. The Willard N.J.R.O.T.C. Unarmed Drill Team Commander from last year, Jacob Broz, is currently serving his four years there. Upon arrival the cadets were given a briefing over what it takes to
get into the academy, otherwise called admissions. They also toured the visitors center, gazed at the
chapel and visited multiple classrooms. The classrooms are really small compared to the number of
students attending. Shane McHaffie said that the naval academy was definitely one of the coolest places he had ever visited.

The following cadets were on the trip: Logan Bender, Abby Bennett, Tori Billips, Alan Elder, Adam Gallegos, Mariah Krueger,Matthew McCowen, Shane McHaffie, Colton Milholland, Jacob Nelson, Jacob Norton, Blake Parton, Hunter Roberds, Scarlett Roberts, Jacob Shackelford, Hannah Sharp, Luke Sharp, Jordan Stout-Mitchell, Matthew Walters, and Drew Wirth.


The Willard High School (WHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) shooting team took sixth place in sporter competition at the Navy JROTC National Rifle Competition Feb. 14-16 in Anniston, Al., at the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) range.

Additionally Cadet/Petty Officer 2nd Class Tristin Chapman made it to finals for individuals and placed sixth. Chapman competed against 60 cadet sporter shooters from the southeastern part of the United States.

“It was very stressful,” Chapman said. “The team did really well overall and it was a great honor to make it to finals,” he added.

Chapman is the first cadet to make it to finals from WHS. Chapman, who is a sophomore, also made it to national competition last year. He added it was exciting to be participating against so many great shooters.

“I couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Cadet/Ensign Hannah Sharp, Commanding Officer of the team. “We finished sixth with the team and Chapman making it to finals as an individual was just icing on the cake.”

Besides Sharp and Chapman, the team also consisted of Cadet/Commander Brett Largent, Cadet/Chief Petty Officer Colton Simmons, and Cadet/Petty Officer 2nd class Millholland. Cadet/Master Chief Petty Officer Walters also qualified to go but can’t because of participation in the Area NINE NJROTC Drill Championship the same weekend at Shawnee Mission North, Ks.

Largent, who is also the unit battalion commander, said he shot one of his highest scores at the competition,” he said. “I too was proud of our team for doing so well.”

Navy Captain Steve Burnett, the shooting team coach at Willard, said it is amazing the team did so well considering school has been closed so many days due to bad weather. He also noted several of the team members had been sick during the practice.

“All things considered,” Burnett said. “The cadets did a great job! I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.”

Burnett added, “Now we just need to get good participation at our summer CMP camp. The camp will be held at Willard High School this coming summer June 16-18 at Willard High School.

“This will be the first time this training has been done in Willard and we already have several local JROTC units that have signed up to participate. Having the training here will make it much less costly for our cadets since they can go home each evening after the training.”

Anyone interested in the training can to the CMP website at , “We are hoping to have as many students participate as possible so they will bring the camp back again next year.”

For any additional information on the Willard NJROTC Shooting Team or the CMP Camp call: (417) 850-1451.


Cadets from Willard High School (WHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) finished in second place overall at the Area NINE Regional Championship Drill Meet held this past weekend at Shawnee Mission North High School in Shawnee Mission, Ks.

Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Jacob Broz, the Battalion’s drill team commanding officer noted only the first place team gets to move on to National Competition. “We had hoped to make it to Nationals again this year, but I am still proud of all the teams and their performances.”

Marine Master Sergeant Gary McClelland, the Willard NJROTC drill team coach said the cadets have been working hard all year. “We felt we had a good chance at placing first, but I am still very happy with the results.” He noted, “We were competing against teams that had all won in earlier competition to advance to the regional championship.”

Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Marshall Faulkner, the Battalion’s academic commander and armed drill commander stated, “I am very pleased with the work put into our drill, academics, and PT teams. It was not the result we were looking for, but it gives us a great start toward our goals for the coming year.”

Besides taking second overall at the meet, Willard took second place in unarmed exhibition, unarmed regulation, athletics, personnel inspection and academics. Willard also took third in armed regulation and color guard, and fourth in armed exhibition. Cadets Matt Walters and Marshall Faulkner also placed third in the individual academic exam.

Cadet/Lieutenant Mat Main, the PT team leader, was pleased with the efforts of his team. “We really did well with pushups and sit-ups,” he said. “Taking second at this kind of competition is really great!”

“It was a very exciting day,” said Broz. “I couldn’t ask for any more as the teams gave some of their best performances. Now we have to get ready for our next competition in Forsyth.”

Other cadets that participated in the competition included Andrew Bannon, Logan Bender, Abby Bennett, Hallie Boyd, Jacob Cook, Alan Elder, Jordan Fancher, Katlyn Galligher, Madi Geiman, Makenna Graham, Nathan Hart, Austen Lockhart, Shane McHaffie, Caleb McMurtrey, Amy Miller, Jacob Nelson, Alex Newman, Marenna Ogle, Bobby Peters, Coral Rios, Brayden Shell, Taylor Shell, April Simmons, Halea Slack, Cameron Smith, Alan Swann, Kenzye White, Lauren Wilson, Drew Worth, and Michallia Worley. McClelland added, “The cadets don’t have much of a breather because our next competition is March 8. I also want to thank Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Brad Wyman who has attended our meets and videoed the teams performances.”

McClelland was very appreciative of all the support from the NJROTC Booster Club, the parents and the school administration. “We’ve had a great year thus far and we wouldn’t be where we are without our success.”


The Willard High School (WHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) raised over $1,500 at an all you can eat pancake feed held this past Saturday in the Willard Community Center.

Mrs. Amy Hankins, chairperson, and Mrs. Christina McHaffie, co-chairperson of the fundraising committee for the Willard NJROTC Booster Club, and Christina McHaffie, co-chairperson, organized the event along with Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Jacob Cook, the NJROTC Operations Officer. “We’re really happy with the outcome of the event,” she said. “I’m very pleased with the large number of local businesses that donated food and supplies.”

The following businesses helped support the pancake feed; Hiland Dairy, Sam’s Club, Mama Loca’s Café, Murfin’s Market, McDonalds of Willard, City of Willard, Food For Less, Hyvee, Price Cutter and Willard Park Board.

“I’m very happy with the outcome of the pancake feed, it was great to see the community come out and support us!” said Cadet/Commander Brett Largent, the NJROTC Unit Commander.

“The pancake feed gave me an opportunity for community service and inform people of all the great things NJROTC does,” said Cadet/Seaman Scarlett Roberts.

“The pancake feed was a success, the money we raised is going to help us go on more trips,” said Cadet/Seaman Justin Hudson.

Proceeds of the pancake feed help support NJROTC events including: drill meets, rifle matches, area base visits and long range trips. Over the past nine years the cadets have travelled all over the continental United States and to Hawaii. They have also visited Greece twice, Italy three time, and Spain.

According to Capt. Steve Burnett, the Willard Senior Naval Science Instructor, Willard NJROTC travels more than any other unit in the country. “We couldn’t do it without the strong support of our school board and school administration,” he said. “It’s events like this pancake feed to raise the necessary funds to keep getting our cadets out to see the world. I can’t thank our parents and the community enough.”


Cadets from Willard High School (WHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) finished in second place overall at the Central Area NINE Drill Meet held this past weekend at Western Heights High School in Oklahoma City, OK.

The Willard team now advances to the Area NINE Regional Championship to be held Feb. 15, at Shawnee Mission North High School in Shawnee Mission, KS.

“All of our cadets did a great job,” said Cadet/Commander Brett Largent, the Battalion’s commanding officer. “We are really excited about advancing to the regional finals and having a shot at making it to the national competition again.”

According to Marine Master Sergeant Gary McClelland, the Willard NJROTC drill team coach, “We have qualified for national competition twice in the last three years so the cadets know what they need to do to qualify again.” McClelland said, “This year it will be more difficult since there are three championship matches spread across Area NINE. So we have to take first place.”

At the meet, Willard took first place in unarmed exhibition. Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Jacob Broz, the drill team commanding officer said, “I’m extremely proud of unarmed exhibition.” He noted that due to an illness a new member was added to the team just five days ago.

Willard placed second in armed basic drill, unarmed basic drill, color guard, and academics. Willard took third in personnel inspection and athletics.

Cadet/Lieutenant Matt Main, the PT team leader, said the cadets performed extremely well in athletics. “We really excelled in the running events,” he said. “Now we just need to improve in sit-ups and push-ups to be ready for the championship.”

In the 100 yard relay Willard placed second and in the 220 yard relay third. In individual competition Cadet/Petty Officer Second Class Lauren Wilson, took third place in sit-ups with 148. In knock out drill Largent took second place and Cadet/Master Chief Matt Walters took third.

The unit started the day with the academic test and finished with the PT competition. “It was an extremely busy day,” said Largent. “I couldn’t ask for any more as the teams gave some of their best performances. Now we have to really step up our practice to get ready for the next level of competition.”

Armed exhibition, which finished in fourth place at the meet, has an extremely difficult routine according to the team’s leader Cadet/Lieutenant Commander Marshall Faulkner. “I’m disappointed we didn’t place higher,” he said. “We spin and toss our rifles more than any other unit,” he noted. “It just makes it difficult to be as precise with some of our movements, but we’ll smooth out the routine a little more before the championship.” Broz said was proud of the teams. “I’m happy with the way the drill teams performed considering we had several last minute replacements but everyone pulled together to make it work.”

McClelland added, “Cadets are really going to have to step it up the next few weeks to take first place.” He noted Willard has to beat Shawnee Mission North High School NJROTC which has taken first place at the Area NINE Championship the last several years. “This past weekend was a big step forward and I am really pleased with the team’s second place overall finish,” he said. “We could not have gotten to where we are without the support of our parents and our high school administration.”


Cadet Jacob Broz and Marshall Faulkner received notice earlier this month that they were selected for the Navy ROTC program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.

"This scholarship is a great privilege. It is great to see my hard work pay off. This also reflects the support that I have received from my family, classmates, teachers, and friends. They have pushed me to be better along every step of the way and have been a huge support for me,” said Marshall Faulkner.

“I couldn't be more proud of Marshall. His Embry Riddle Naval ROTC scholarship was earned as a result of countless hours of hard work, sacrifice, and self discipline. That he chooses to apply his talents in service to his country not only reflects positively on Marshall but also on the teachers and mentors who have been instrumental in helping to guide and shape him," said Robert Faulkner

"I'm just happy that all the work I have put in for last few years of my life have finally paid off," said Jacob Broz

"Jacob is on his way of achieving his childhood and lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. The Naval ROTC scholarship is the result of many of his activities; Eagle Scout, volunteerism, Willard High School athletics and of course by participation in the Willard NJROTC teams. Jacob is very aware of the sacrifices of a military family as he will be carrying forward a family tradition of service to our country. His dad and I are very proud of his hard work, his character, his work ethic and of the man that he is becoming. Thank you to everyone that has contributed to his success," said Alvina Broz

Also Brett Largent was awarded a Navy ROTC scholarship to Embry-Riddle and the University of Missouri last year.

All three cadets are still waiting to hear on whether or not they will be accepted to either the Naval or Air Force academies.


Cadets from Willard High School (WHS) Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) finished with second place at the Shawnee Mission North High School Mini Drill Meet in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

The teams competed in Armed Regulation, Armed Exhibition, Unarmed Regulation, Unarmed Exhibition, Color Guard, PT and Academics.

The team took second in all of the following events; Armed Regulation, Unarmed Regulation, Unarmed Exhibition, Color Guard, PT and Academics. The Armed Exhibition team placed third.

“We lost a lot of our PT team at semester, I was unsure of what our outcome would be here, but I was really surprised to see how well we kept up with the other teams. With a little more practice I know we can beat Shawnee Mission North,” said Cadet Lieutenant Mat Main.

“With the recent snows days, practicing has been a challenge but given the little amount of practice we had, I think we did exceptionally well,” said Cadet Commander Brett Larget.

“We did really good for the amount of practice we had leading up to the competition. We still need work, but it was a great morale boost to the team to be so close to our rivals. We now know that we can overcome them and take home the first place trophy,” said Cadet Lieutenant Commander Jacob Broz.

Willard finished second overall at this practice drill meet. The teams will compete this weekend at the Western Heights National Drill Qualifier on January 25th.


On Tuesday November 19th, Willard High Schools NJROTC unit hosted their first Awards and Promotion Ceremony of the school year. Traditionally the first Awards and Promotion Ceremony is a promotion of the freshmen as well as a few upper class cadets. The freshmen are promoted from Seaman Recruit to either Seaman Apprentice, or Seaman.

The following students were promoted to Cadet Seaman Apprentice; Kalyn Adams, William Anderson, Cole Baker, Braxton Bedsaul, Kalani Brown, Clayton Burkett-Gipson, Joshua Burleson, Tyler Draper, Foxx Dunning, Cole Fanning, Dakota Forrest, Nathaniel Foster, Ethan Gannon, Katelyn Graham, Matthew Harrison, Jason Hernandez, Deserea Hood, Gabriel Keefover, Michelle Litton, Jordan Lockhart, Kaytlynn Madden, Roderick Mammah, Isaiah Marshall, Sydney Mavengere, James McGee, Zachary Needham, Cole Parker, Samantha Presson, Dylan Richardson, Matthew Roberts, Omar Rocha, Sara Rose, Dylan Ross, Brinea Sexton, Jesse Shipley, Kaleb Swanson, Reagan Symes, Quientin Tracz-House, Caleb Tumpach, Devon Vanvolkenburgh, Gage Voss, Autumn Ware, Kaleb Wood, Kenneth Wooliver.

The following students were promoted to Cadet Seaman; Nicole Brigance, James Browning, Brandon Burks, Derek Conti, Reece Drake, John Ewing, Katlyn Galligher, Walter Geiman, Dayton Graves, Justin Hudson, Mariah Krueger, Shane McHaffie, Colton Milholland, Luke Murray, Kimberley Needham, Joseph Nordstrom, Connor Poulson, Scarlett Roberts, Preston Schaeffer, Kaitlyn Schroeder, Brayden Shell, Jennifer Shipley, Elliot Smith, James Stagner, David Steed, Cyle Strope, Jonathon Wirth, James Yearwood, Riley Curran, Matthew Lewis, Cordell McCord, Teran Mitchell, Crystal Morris, Joshua VanHorn, Ashley Warden.

The following students were promoted to Cadet Petty Officer Third Class; Chelsea Enloe and Brenton Ragan.

The following students were promoted to Cadet Petty Officer First Class; Matthew Almasan, Noah Eldred and Logan Lechner.

The following students were promoted to Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer; Mckenzie Pena, Justin Randall and Mathew White.

“I’m really proud about what the cadets have done so far this year. I can’t wait to see what we can do the rest of the year,” said Cadet Commander Brett Largent.

Willard NJROTC will hold their next Awards and Promotion Ceremony April 1st, 2014.

Written by PAO c/LCDR Bradley Wyman

Pictures from Awards and Promo


“I think the PT challenge was the best we’ve done so far, and it has prepared us for the upcoming drill season,” said Cadet Lieutenant Mathew Main, PT team officer.

Willard (WHS) NJROTC traveled to Shawnee Mission North High School this past weekend to face off in multiple physical challenges. WHS took one all male team and three co-ed teams. Each team participated in push-ups, sit ups, pull ups, one mile run, 100 yard dash, 200 yard dash and combat fitness test.

“This PT meet has really shown us what we need to improve on for the upcoming meets,” said Lieutenant Commander Austen Lockhart The all male team consisted of Cadet Lieutenant Mathew Main, Cadet Lieutenant Commander Austen Lockhart, Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Taylor Shell, Cadet Chief Petty Officer Nathan Hart, Cadet Petty Officer Second Class Nick Ozley, and Cadet Seaman Recruit Zachariah Robertson. The all male team placed second place out of ten other teams.

The co-ed team one consisted of Cadet Master Chief Matthew Walters, Cadet Chief Petty Officer Daniel Rodriguez, Cadet Seaman Recruit Drew Wirth, Cadet Seaman Recruit Caleb Stagner, Cadet Senior Chief Halea Slack and Cadet Seaman Recruit Katlyn Galligher. Co-ed team one placed fourth place out of ten co-ed teams.

The co-ed team two consisted of Cadet Lieutenant Commander Cameron Smith, Cadet Lieutenant Commander Marshall Faulkner, Cadet Senior Chief Madiline Geiman, Cadet Lieutenant Commander Makenna Graham, Cadet Petty Officer Second Class Coral Rios, and Cadet Petty Officer Second Class Lauren Wilson. Co-ed team two placed fifth place out of ten co-ed teams.

The co-ed team 3 consisted of Cadet Petty Officer Second Class Hallie Boyd, Cadet Seaman Recruit Cadet Seaman Recruit Scarlet Roberts, Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Alan Elder, Cadet Petty Officer Third Class Bobby Peters, Cadet Seaman Recruit Walter Geiman and Cadet Seaman Recruit Joey Nordstrom. Co-ed team three placed sixth place out of ten co-ed schools. WHS NJROTC’s drill team will travel to Branson this Friday to compete.

Written by PAO c/LCDR Bradley Wyman

Pictures from SMN PT Challenge