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johnson jrotc wins national Leadership bowl championship

On Saturday, June 22, 2013, some of America’s best high school students met at the campus of George Mason University in Washington, D.C. to compete in the annual Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Leadership and Academic Bowl (JLAB).  Four cadets from Claudia T. “Lady Bird” Johnson High School joined the nation’s top 252 Army JROTC cadets to compete -- and the Johnson team walked away with the national championship.

The Johnson cadets took the championship title in an extremely rigorous competition that introduced a new six event competition format this year.  The team led by Bryan Duke, Team Captain; Max Pawloski; Kiana Reveles; and Will Porth qualified for the final championship round by outpacing the second place qualifier by 27.7 points out of a possible 500 points and won the championship by 30 points.  In fact, the Johnson team finished first in three of the five qualifying testing events, and second and third in the other two testing events.

When asked how he felt about taking six- one hour tests on a summer Saturday, Cadet Duke commented “Colonel, it was just like another 'Super-Saturday' practice with you.”

The JLAB Leadership Bowl Championship required all 40 finalist leadership teams to compete in groups of ten each.  Each group rotated through and competed in all five testing events.  Most of the five testing events were in quiz bowl format, all with a moderator and several judges, and all were taken as a team.  The five testing events were (1) the Marshall, the MacArthur, and the Citizen-Soldier exam; (2) the Leadership Gauntlet; (3) Higher Order Thinking (HOT); (4) Leadership Media, and (5) a general studies JROTC curriculum test. 

In the final championship round, the top three leadership teams went head-to-head in a “Jeopardy” style competition much like what the JLAB Academic Teams go through in their Bowl competition.

The JLAB national level of competition is not new to the Johnson cadets as they have qualified to compete at this level four of the five years of their existence with five teams.  In 2011, Johnson won both the National Leadership Bowl Championship title and the Academic Bowl Runner-Up National Championship title.  Last year, the Johnson team finished sixth place in an extremely competitive competition where only seven-tenths of a point separated them from the 3rd place trophy team.

The JLAB Leadership Bowl competition began in October 2012 with 1,349 Army JROTC programs participating in Level I competition.  The Level II competition was cut to 557 Leadership Teams which advanced to Level II.  After advancing through two phases of online testing, the Johnson Leadership Team won a 1st place finish in Division I, 5th ROTC Brigade, and United States Army Cadet Command.  The 40 winning teams from the seven JROTC Brigades advanced to the final national championship rounds at George Mason University. 

“I am extremely proud of all of our student cadets,” said LTC (R) Alan W. Maitland, Senior Army Instructor and Coach.  "I had no doubt that we had the winning team this year.  At the Leadership Gauntlet, the test moderator introduced our cadets by saying 'The infamous Claudia T. “Lady Bird” Johnson Team from San Antonio, Texas'---one can only earn such comments!"

All the participating cadets will have some amazing stories and memories to share about their JLAB experiences.  The cadets had the opportunity to study and tour many of the major Washington D. C. monuments as part of their JLAB participation.  Additionally, college representatives from all the military academies and other top tier schools talked to all cadets about the college admission process. 

Besides earning the championship trophy, the Johnson cadets received some very rare and limited awards.  They received the George C. Marshall Leadership Medal with certificate, the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Medal with certificate, the newly revealed, first-issue 100th Anniversary JROTC Coin, plus a congratulatory letter from General (R) Colin Powell.  In addition, the Leadership Team will receive the United States Army Cadet Commander's “Challenge Coin” for excellence at a later date.  Additionally, Adams State College, Alamosa, Colorado awarded the cadets one college credit for fulfilling the requirements for their course entitled LEAD 120, American Veterans – Profiles in Leadership.

“I feel these cadets will likely look back at the complete JLAB experience as their defining moment in high school” said Maitland.  “I am confident that they will be America’s future leaders.”

The JLAB is a national competition designed to help JROTC cadets learn the values of citizenship, apply the principles of leadership, and compete in a nationwide academic competition while opening doors to gain college opportunities.  The competition is sponsored by the United States Army JROTC Cadet Command, the George C. Marshall Foundation, the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, Adams State College, and the College Options Foundation.

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Johnson Team proudly displaying their Championship trophy.  Pictured from left to right are Cadet Will Porth; Cadet Max Pawloski; Mr. Leon McMullen, Deputy Director JROTC; Cadet Bryan Duke, Team Captain; Cadet Kiana Reveles; and LTC (R) Alan W. Maitland, Team Coach and Instructor.

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The Johnson Leadership Team in front of the George Mason statue at Mason University.

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The Johnson Leadership Team on top of Little Round Top at Gettysburg Battlefield.

Posted on June 27, 2013