Over the weekend of 19-21 November, 17 JROTC Raider teams from eight different schools, traveled to Cove Lake State Park to compete in the first annual “Raider Rally in the Valley” Competition. The competition featured six different events with all events held on Saturday at various locations throughout Cove Lake Park.
This was the first large scale Raider competition that the Campbell County High School JROTC program has ever hosted. Cadre, cadets and JROTC Boosters started planning for the event in July. In August during the planning process, there was considerable doubt on CCHS JROTC’s capability to pull off this large competition. However, MSG Tierney told LTC Salveson, “Lets make this big thing happen! Let’s pull the trigger on this one and send it downrange!” From that time on it was FULL STEAM AHEAD in major coordination required to make the competition happen! Work on the part of cadre, cadets, boosters, and Cove Lake State Park and Campbell County support agencies was tremendous. Planning and work efforts included event signs, ordering and building weighted stretchers, building metal obstacles (by Eagle Tires), getting equipment, personnel, and transportation support from the Tennessee Army National Guard, T-shirt design/purchase (By Byrge Screen Printing), coordination of portable toilets (Big Al’s), getting large dumpsters (from Carl Towne & Waste Management), borrowing steel tubes for physical fitness tests (from Pyro Shows), getting medical and command center support (from Campbell County EMA), and obtaining a refreshment stand (from Pepsi). The logistical support efforts by countless Campbell County offices made this first “Raider Rally in the Valley” a huge success.
The efforts by CCHS cadets in executing the competitive part of the competition were superb as well. Cadets started practicing their events in early August, working their actions in with preparation for other Raider competitions. With heavy pressure from MSG Tierney and LTC Salveson they limited interruptions like weekends and fall break in slowing down their preparation. The Salveson /Tierney pressure paced directives, and “corrective counseling’s” proved worthwhile in the end.
Teams arrived Friday, got in-processed and set up camp in Cove Lake’s back camping loop. Friday night they received a Park Ranger briefing from Casey Hatmaker, followed by a detailed event briefing by LTC Salveson, and CCHS cadet event leaders.
Teams woke early Saturday, and ate chow sold by the amazing CCHS JROTC Booster Club. Saturday competitive events included Rope Bridge, the Cross Country Rescue Course (CCR), a knot tying event, a Map Test, a First Aid Test, and a Strength Test. Competitors were thrilled to be transported to several of their events in a large Tennessee Army National Guard truck, an FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles).
Sunday morning brought with it the awards ceremony. Cadets had a special treat. On hand to give some words of advice, and to present the awards, was General Carl W. Stiner. GEN Stiner spoke about the importance of physical fitness, mental toughness, teamwork, technical competence, and spiritual solace. All present were thrilled by his attendance and words of wisdom. General Stiner then presented 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards in all six events, female 1st place awards in each event, and overall champion awards for the competition. Overall male team champion was Hickman County HS in Centerville, TN; while the overall female team champion came from Sale Creek HS in Chattanooga.
The Cougar Battalion sends a special thanks to Kim Moore, the Cove Lake State Park Rangers and Employees, GEN Carl W. Stiner, the Tennessee Army National Guard, the Campbell County EMA office and other businesses and agencies (listed earlier) for support of this large scale competition. Finally a special thanks to the CCHS JROTC Booster Club. Without your help and support, this event would not have been possible. AND, next year’s Raider Rally in the Valley will be even bigger and better.