On February 9th, 2017, the Panther Battalion completed the second round of the Junior Leadership Academic Bowl (JLAB). They successfully scored an 82% overall and showed great improvement and commitment to make it to the next round. They worked together answering different questions on the verbal, math, and science sections of the timed test. The team was composed of the Cadets Nathen Andrews, Jennifer Soto, Joel Flores, and Sebastian Loschin. They are now awaiting their results to find out if they made it to the third round which will be held in Washington, D.C.
On Tuesday February 7th, Cadet Major Jennifer Arriola (right) was awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 8058, Voice of Democracy Essay/Audio Scholarship. She wrote and recorded a two-page essay describing her responsibility to America. Her essay was titled “The Land of the Free.” In her essay, she described her mission to give back to America and expressed her patriotism for this great country. Cadet Arriola’s essay/audio won first place locally and placed second in the District judging. She was presented her award at the award ceremony, which took place at the Fort Pierce VFW Auxiliary. The Fort Pierce
Cadets from the Panther Battalion recently competed in the Treasure Coast Chapter Military Officer Association of America – JROTC 5K Run/Walk. The run was held on Saturday, February 4th in the Tradition area of Port Saint Lucie, Florida. A number of cadets assisted with the event by handing out refreshments, parking cars, and setting up for the event. The rest of the cadets competed in the run. These cadets, although tired, pushed through and finished the run. They gave it their all. In the end, the Panther Battalion came in 3rd place as a team out of five schools. Individual
The Panther Battalion Rifle Team swept the competition at the 5th Annual McNair Memorial Air Rifle Match. The veteran team of Alex Rediker, Tae Frazier, Kirmille Joseph and Jose Cristales retained the McNair Cup for the 4th year in a row, posting a score of 1,034 points to defeat six other veteran teams. Alex Rediker was the match champion as well as 1st place award winner in prone and standing and a 3rd place finisher in kneeling out of 31 veteran shooters. Kirmille Joseph was the kneeling champion for the veterans’ competition. A finals event was also added this year,
On January 21st, the Westwood Panthers JROTC Cadets were honored to assist veterans of the Ft. Pierce and Indian River community who have been awarded the Purple Heart Award. The Purple Heart Award is awarded to veterans who have been wounded in action while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The event took place at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum. The Indian River Woodcarver’s, headed by Lloyd Lasenby, designed and carved eagle-head canes. Each cane was personalized to each Purple Heart recipient.
On Monday, January 16, Fort Pierce Westwood JROTC Battalion participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in Fort Pierce, Florida. The Panther Color Guard also presented the national colors as they marched down Martin Luther King Blvd. A mass formation of cadets followed behind the Color Guard. They marched and shouted cadences exciting the crowd around them. Many Fort Pierce Westwood alumni and children shouted positive comments while the cadets marched. The Battalion endured many miles marching all while maintaining their military bearing. Parents, teachers, officials, and children were all impressed with the improvement the program has experienced over
On January 7th and January 8th, Westwood’s Panther Battalion volunteered to assist at the Dog Agility Show held at the Fair Grounds. Cadets learned the basics of hosting and running a professional dog show while also becoming familiar with different breeds of dogs. The cadets hard work helped when it came to getting everything set up and assuring that the show ran smoothly. When the Dog Agility Show is back in town, the Panther Battalion looks forward to helping again.
Congratulations to the Ft. Pierce Westwood HS Teams of Cadets who competed in the Junior Leadership and Academic Bowls. The Academic team consisted of Cadets Andrews, Loschin, Soto, Flores, and the alternative cadet Rigsby. The Leadership team consisted of Cadets Payen, Egan, Lovell, Ocampo, Hartley, and Reese. Out of the 1,308 teams that participated across America to include Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Guam, and DOD Schools across the world; they’ve earned the bragging rights to say both teams will be moving on to Level 2. The next level of the competition will be held February 1-15.
Cadets from Fort Pierce Westwood High School recently traveled to Cape Canaveral to learn about an ongoing scientific project. Cadets spent the morning with Dr. Deborah Gordon and Kurt Leucht understanding their studies of the foraging and communications algorithms of ants and how these algorithms have been converted into software that will be used for the search robots that will roam the planet Mars during the Mars missions in 2030. The afternoon was spent in the Atlantis Center appreciating the space shuttle program. It was both an educational day and an experiential learning day for the Cadets. Cadets showed their
In a recent Medal of Heroism Ceremony hosted by Westwood High School Panther Battalion, Cadet First Sergeant Unique Rosario received the prestigious Medal of Heroism award. Unique leaped into a river after Hurricane Hermine to save a young boy who had fallen out of his family’s raft. She risked her life thinking only of that young boy and his safety. Unique Rosario is the epitome of heroism, and the Panther Battalion was proud to honor her with this award.
The Panther Battalion was invited to attend a Veterans Ceremony at Frances K. Sweet Elementary. The Color Guard presented the national colors. The Color Guard consisted of C/SGT Barnhill, C/SGT Scanlan, C/PFC Flores, and C/PVT Lifhrid, commanded by C/MSG Tavernia. The Battalion Commander, C/LTC Hardecia Williams, gave a speech commemorating all veterans on this special day. The purpose of the event was to give respect and attention to all veterans, both alive and deceased. The Panther Battalion’s Bravo Company also started the “push-ups for veterans.”
On October 29th, Fort Pierce Westwood hosted its Annual Raider Meet. This was the second competition of the year for Westwood’s Raider Team. Eight teams competed, each having sub-teams for a total of fifteen teams. These teams represented area high schools ranging from Okeechobee to Santaluces. There were three categories, each one stacked with heavy competition. Westwood itself was in the mixed category, also the largest. The Westwood Raider team pushed themselves to compete with other schools. Westwood was able to secure two second place spots and showed great improvement over recent years. The Raider Team consisted of Thomas Lovell,
The Panther Battalion Color Guard was invited to present the colors at the “Lights on After School Event.” The purpose of the event was to inform parents and students about various after school activities in the area. C/SGT Barnhill, C/SGT Scanlan, C/PFC Flores, C/PVT Warner, and C/PVT Clayton all attended the event. Various other organizations were at the event, such as Boy Scouts of America, U.S. National Guard, and Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County. The goal of the program is to get students engaged in after school activities.
Cadet Diana Soto was recently awarded the “Pushed to My Max” Award for displaying exceptional physical courage during the 5k Team Run at the Port St. Lucie JROTC Raider meet last weekend. Diana is a member of the Elite Westwood Raider Team. She was congratulated in front of her JROTC class by her instructor, CSM Federico Dottin, and Westwood Raider Team Co-Captains Brandon Payen and Nathan Andrews. The Westwood Raiders took first place in the fitness challenge, second in the Tire Flip and Rope Bridge and were the 3rd Place Mixed Team overall. The Panther Battalion will host the next
The JROTC Panther Battalion at Fort Pierce Westwood High School recently conducted their annual service learning project. This year’s project was a campus clean-up, coinciding with Earth Day. Service Learning is a teaching and learning methodology that connects classroom curriculum with identified community issues and needs. Service Learning engages students in projects that serve the community while building Cadets’ social awareness. Cadets collected more than 40 bags of trash and 3 truckloads of solid waste. They also cleaned up the signs around the school. Cadets are continuously working every day to improve the school’s appearance!
The Westwood JROTC Air Rifle Varsity Team defeated four schools to retain the much-coveted McNair Silver Trophy cup at the 4th Annual McNair Memorial Rifle Match for the third year running. Alex Rediker led the varsity team as the match individual champion as well as earning three additional individual medals. Jennifer Arriola was the prone champion and the “Sniper” champion, boasting nine out of 30 perfect 10’s! Raul Velasco also took an individual medal in standing. Alejandro Garcia rounded out the Varsity team. Miguel Rodriguez led the JV team to a second place finish and also earned individual medals in
The Fort Pierce Westwood JROTC Panther Battalion Honor Guard provides a Saber Arch for the Homecoming Court on the 25th of September during halftime activities of the Westwood vs Treasure Coast football game. C/CSM Alex Rediker Commanded the Honor Guard which included Cadets Trystan Crisp, Jordan Bamford, Shannon Bradley, Raul Velasco, Sally Dupre, Alejandro Garcia, Cristobal Gonzalez, Michelande Elliasaint and Tyrin Edinfield.
Fifty Cadets from the Panther Battalion recently earned their CPR Certification from the Emergency Medical Consultants Company. Cadets received training over a two day period including Infant, Child and Adult CPR and Choking. They also conducted hands-on training with Automated External Defibrillators (AED) which use a controlled “shock” to help restore a victim’s heart rhythm. The Panthers closed out their training with a hands-on and written final exam to earn their two-year certification cards. The training was part of an eight-week first aid course presented during the second semester of their JROTC course.
The Panther Battalion Air Rifle Team won the JROTC Area III Regional Championship on Saturday, 14 March held at Rockledge High School, posting a school record 1,038 points to outmatch the other 9 regional finalists. Daisy Arriola, Team Captain, set a new individual school record of 280 out of 300 points, smashing the old school record of 261. Alex Rediker and Jennifer Arriola both posted personal bests of 259 and 260 respectively. Alex Rediker put the Panthers in the lead during the first relay, outscoring all of his opponents by more than 10 points. The Panthers never relinquished their lead
Ft Pierce Mayor, Linda Hudson, joined the Panther Battalion Cadets for the Annual Military Ball held on Friday, February 13th. Mayor Hudson was the key note speaker for this year’s ball which was held at the Ft Pierce National Guard Armory. Cadets honored traditions such as the posting of the colors, military toasts and the grog bowl ceremony. The Panthers also let their hair down with a catered dinner and lively dancing. District 1 City Commissioner, Reginald Sessions also attended and rewarded the Cadets with an inspiring speech about “Achieving Your Dreams.” Ft Pierce 19th Judicial Circuit Drug Court Manager,