JROTC Talent Is Way More Than Military

Hawaii’s top JROTC cadets gathered last month to test not their physical skills but their talents in art and music.

On Feb. 8, the Mililani Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Trojan Battalion conducted its first-ever cadet talent show.

More than 10 high schools competed in nine different categories, including solo vocalist, musical groups, dance, free category, exhibition, photography, drawing/painting, poetry/song writing and sculpture.

The show was the brainchild of Mililani Cadet Pvt. Tiana Pasqual, who asked her JROTC instructor 1st Sgt. (Ret.) Reinaldo Gonzalez about putting on the show. It quickly moved up the chain of command, and the JROTC members began the planning and approval process last August.

Cadets arrived early in the morning, and after the presentation of colors and introduction of judges, the talent show began with the soloist category. Three hours later, more than 57 cadets had performed.

Highlights from the show included Kahuku’s Cadet Arvie Duldulalao doing her version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

Other notable performances included a duet by Kaimuki Cadets Paul Shin and Jhasmine Recto, as they performed Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.

“That song radiated throughout the stage and into the audience, where everyone was mesmerized by the flowing lyrics and the composure of both these cadets,” said Gonzalez.

Cadets ran the entire show, from writing to practices, scene preparation and organization of the performers.

“Everything ran like clockwork. All the schools supported all of the performers; it was like a big family talent show,” recalled Lt. Col. (Ret.) Tim Schiller, senior Army instructor for Mililani High School.

Schiller wasn’t the only one impressed with the show’s execution.

“This was really a great suggestion from a new cadet in our new JROTC program, and this talent show was one of the many highlights of my JROTC career,” said Cadet Lt. Col. Natasha Parowski, a senior and battalion commander for the Mililani JROTC program.

“It was so much fun from the planning to the final execution, everything fell into place, and all the cadets worked so well to accomplish this mission.. I am so proud of everyone.”