Mililani JROTC Members Test Their Fitness And Teamwork


Special to Central Oahu Islander

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets from Mililani High School competed in the Menehune Adventure Challenge Jan. 17-19 at Waimea High School.

Menehune Adventure Challenge was hosted by the school’s Menehune Army JROTC Battalion and supported by members of Hawaii Army National Guard. The event tested the cadets’ physical fitness abilities, leadership skills and teamwork.

The competition pushed each cadet to his or her physical limits by testing them in six separate stations over the two-day competition.

The first challenge was the Modified Physical Fitness Test, which measures cadets’ overall strength and fitness level. The test consisted of push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups and a two-mile run.

The second task was the 400-meter swim in the community pool next to the high school.

“The focus of our team was that we practiced several times before the competition, and we looked at each other’s stroke, making minor improvements that helped our non-competitive swimmers with their performance,” said Cadet Capt. Darius Usborne. “I wanted to help two of our boys, so we practiced several times at the YMCA in Mililani right after school. It really paid off.”

The third event was a mile-long, across-campus obstacle course.

“I had really no idea how demanding this was going to be,” said Cadet Capt. Owen Miyahara. “What really slowed me down was the vertical 8-foot wall. It was hard to get a running start, and only through teamwork was I able to get over the wall.”

The obstacle course started by rolling a 100-pound coconut trunk up a 45-degree slope. Cadets then had to climb up a 20-foot rope and scale a 10-foot lava rock wall.

“Climbing through these obstacles was very challenging, since none of us had ever been on the course before,” admitted Miyahara.

The next event on the obstacle course was to climb an 8-foot vertical wall, then run down a culvert and commando cross a rope bridge without falling off.

The fourth event was rope-bridge construction and crossing.

“This is one of our strongest areas,” said Cadet Capt. Brandee Schiller. “We practice rope-bridge building over and over, and each cadet has a specific job to do on the team.”

The competition concluded with a 6-mile run and a canoe race up Waimea River. “It is always such an adventure to get these cadets in the canoes and watch them work as a team,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Keith Castaneda, Army instructor for Waimea High’s Army JROTC.

“Our goal is to get them to work as a team. You cannot accomplish these tasks by yourself, and this was our focus: You’re a team, so you have to work off the strengths and weaknesses of each member.”