Watauga High School's Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training (JROTC) unit won first place overall in the small unit division on Saturday, April 7 at the annual Appalachian Regional JROTC Championship hosted by Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn.

 This comprehensive competition tests all major areas of the JROTC  curriculum, including academics, regulation drill, marksmanship and fitness. Watauga JROTC's competition teams placed first in the academic and fitness events and third in the drill, marksmanship, and personnel inspection events to earn the overall Division II championship. 

"This is the culminating event of our competitive year, which has been very successful,” Said Senior Marine Instructor LtCol Jerry Harper, the program’s leader at WHS. “This is the second overall championship our unit has won this year in a major regional event. I'm very proud of our cadets as we continue to build a tradition of excellence in our department, and instill pride and confidence in our cadets."

Pictured from left to right are LtCol Jerry Harper, SSgt Miguel Ruiz, Sgt Dominick Hammac, MSgt Christian Richardson, LCpl Devan Odum, Capt Noah Pearson, LCpl Shaylan McGuire, 1stSgt Joey Watson, Sgt Isaac Maling, SSgt Isaac Styles, LCpl Nailea Fuentes, Cpl Alyssa Clark, MSgt David Hernandez