LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps found success in early March at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s drill meet. Led by U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Brody Goldthwaite and Capt. Irma Mosqueda, the team delivered a turnaround of last year’s unranked performance by placing second overall.
The drill meet had some of the nation’s finest midshipmen in attendance. Ten NROTC units from across the nation competed March 3-4 and were graded on precise marching movements and military bearing in color guard and platoon drill. The units also were tested to their breaking point on the endurance team race and scrutinized on their accuracy in rifle and pistol competitions.
Midshipman Third Class Charlie Beck described the enthusiasm upon learning the KU team had placed second.
“For us to have not even placed in a single event last year to now taking second place overall is hard to put into words,” Beck said. “I am astonished and thrilled. It took every second of our training to prepare us for this moment.”
The second-place overall finish — only 1.5 points behind the top finishing unit from the University of Colorado — was largely thanks to KU’s first-place finish in platoon drill, a second-place finish in color guard, a second-place finish in rifle, a third-place finish in pistol and a fifth-place finish in the endurance team race. The endurance team shaved 1.5 hours from last year's time. Photos from the meet can be found on the KU NROTC Facebook page.
Commanding Officer of KU NROTC, Capt. David Meron, shared high praise with the midshipmen.
“I am very, very proud of you all. You worked incredibly hard, and it has paid off.”
KU NROTC is one of the smaller units in the country, which develops into a distinctive family-like atmosphere. Midshipmen at KU are much closer with each other than at other universities. The KU program also features a ship simulator, and a regulation Marine obstacle course.
“The success of the KU NROTC program is a strong testament to the superb leadership and mentorship provided by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps staff,” Meron said.
Among the student standouts and leaders on the KU NROTC team are:
- Midshipman Second Class Anna Whitaker, commander 1st place drill team
- Midshipman Third Class Scott Gilmore, commander 2nd place color guard
- Midshipman Fourth Class Jack House, high score for both the rifle and pistol competitions.