UWF ROTC hosts annual Land Navigation Competition

By Shameka Lewis
Staff writer

On Saturday, the University of West Florida’s Army ROTC Program held its annual land navigation competition, an orienteering event for JROTC programs from across Northwest Florida.

Pensacola High School, Crestview High School and J. M. Tate High School were among the 27 teams competing in this event, which featured teams representing all branches of the United States military.

“The purpose of this event is to build a community between the ROTC battalions and our company and to raise funds for our ROTC program,” Cadet Alexis Rivera said.

Lt. Col. Henry Delacruz, chair and professor of military science at UWF, said the purpose of the competition was to introduce JROTC members to the concepts of traveling without modern technology.

“This event helps us teach them a skill, like navigation,” Delacruz said. “Well, what happens if your phone goes down. Then you learn how to read a map, and that is what they are doing here. They have to find points without the use of their phones.”

JROTC teams arrived at 7:15 a.m. Competing teams had three hours to find specific points on our land navigation course in the nature trails behind the Nature Trail Boardwalk.

UWF’s ROTC cycled all teams through the course at different points throughout the morning and into the early afternoon. Teams received a score based on the time it took them to complete the course and the number of points they successfully found.

The ROTC Program at UWF is designed to shape the future leaders of America. The cadets learn how to lead, to display personal courage and learn what they are capable of doing.

“The ROTC program’s first mission is to recruit, develop, train and commission second lieutenants for the Army,” Delacruz said. “Our secondary mission is to coach men, teach JRTOC cadets and help them develop into good citizens for the community, and at the same time, we show them different options for their career in terms of school, and… what it means to be a cadet.”

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