Last week we reported that only 1 in 4 American kids are meeting the recommended standards of First Lady Michele Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. Unfortunately the FLOTUS’ program isn’t that awe-inspiring to the nation’s youth. But I have an idea of what could be.
Back in October of last year I met with our Allen West Foundation staff and suggested a concept to them for development and execution. Yesterday we had the final staff coordination and synchronization meeting for what will be an annual event, the Allen West Foundation High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps PT Challenge.
On Saturday, January 25th at John Prince Park in Lake Worth, teams from the tri-county area of Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin (as well as any others who would like to participate) will gather to compete for first and second place trophies — sorry, we don’t believe in shared trophy prosperity. However, all participants will receive a commemorative certificate of participation.
The PT Challenge consists of 7-person co-ed teams (4 males, 3 females) who will do one minute of maximum push-ups, one minute of maximum sit-ups, and a 3.3 mile run. Yours truly will be the standard demonstrator and I will also run the 3.3 mile course with these cadets.
It is my hope that this catches on across Florida — and indeed America — and one day we’ll have a National High School JROTC PT Challenge with ESPN covering it.
I am a product of this fine program that is currently struggling for funding and viability across the nation. We need to expand the high school JROTC programs in America, not see more shutting down. I can think of no better examples of service, sacrifice, and character than those men and women who have served in our military. To have them in our high schools teaching our young Americans leadership, discipline, honor, and developing their sense of courage and competence should be the dream of every parent, and our entire nation.
I will never forget my instructors LTC Pagonis, MAJ Heredia, MSG Buchanan, and SFC McMichael, Korean and Vietnam War veterans. They left a distinguished mark upon my life and enabled Cadet Battalion Commander LTC Allen West to become retired US Army Battalion Commander Allen West. So I hope you’ll share this and come out and join us to celebrate the future generation of American leadership, the cadets of High School JROTC.
After the event, our sponsor, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO) Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, will host a hamburger and hot dog BBQ for our young Spartans. They will also be providing a capabilities static display.