You are a student at R-S Central in Rutherford County. You have names like: Gabe Abele, Hunter Atchley, Hunter Bumgardner, Shakeia Burgin, Ian Clay, Dawn Craig, Ashley Davis, Amber Duncan, Tiffany Edgerton, Quincy Edwards, Holli Hayes, Matthew Higgins, James Keator, Jr., Alex Keough, Dakota Kesterson, Chandler Lane, Kasey Martin, Laura McCombs, Victoria McCombs, Akasha Miller, Jessica Pinion, Paul Sims, Corey Smith,Thomas Stover, Jack Vaughn and Dustin Whitaker. For some reason you decide to try out joining the Marine Corps Junior ROTC. Then it happens. You meet the men in charge, Major Russ Armentrout and Sergeant Major Don Barrett. You find out that Marine JROTC is not easy. It is a program of dedicated, serious, disciplined, hard work. This is not for everyone. As the ads say that we have all seen, it's for "The Few. The Proud." You stick it out, you don't quit, and then you are hooked.
You have learned what it is to be a Marine. You become a part of the drill team. This is the team that must perform precise exercises, in tandem and exacting displays - a total immersion in concentration to showcase the very best.
A man who retired after 27 years in the Marines and started the program at R-S Central, Sergeant Major Barrett is your instructor. He has been at the school for 16 years. You train and practice over and over again. The Sergeant will take no less than outstanding performances. His drill team must become the absolute best, no excuses.
On January 22 in Gray, Tennessee there was the "Daniel Boone Invitational" the fourth and biggest competition of the year. Sergeant Major took his drill team there to compete. However, because of the snow, the school was closed and the drill team only got five days of practice. The cadets were nervous. Sergeant Major Barrett told his cadets they could do it. He encouraged them to do their best. He also displayed confidence in them. They listened to a man they admire and together they commit to a performance of excellence.
In all areas of the competition they exceed. As they feel good about each performance, they get better. When it was over the R-S Central Marine Corps Junior ROTC took the championship. Another amazing feat for these Marine cadets.
These students names are now proudly preceded by Marine military titles. It tells the world that they have achieved a rank in the Marine JROTC. Abbreviations like SSGT, LCPL, GYSGT, PFC, CAPT, SGT, CPL indicate their achievements and their roles as leaders and doers. In Gray, Tennessee they proved that they're the best. This drill team is a reflection of their efforts and their dedicated leader and teacher. Sergeant Major D. J. Barrett.
Congratulation to these winners. Each member of the R-S Central Marine Junior ROTC, now thoroughly understands why those ads say "The Few. The Proud. The Marines".