UR’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) placed first overall in a Drill and Athletics competition at Villanova University on Saturday, April 5.

Each year, the University’s NROTC unit competes in a Cornell University invitational and a Villanova University competition. Last semester, UR came in first place overall at Cornell as well.

This is the first time UR has won Villanova overall as well as the first time they have placed first in Villanova and Cornell in the same year.

“I’m extremely happy with the results,” Drill Military Excellence Competition (MEC) Officer Joshua Nysenbaum, who was in charge of much of the coordination of the competition as well as the midshipmen competing in drill and athletic events, said.

The competition consisted of two categories: Drill and MEC.

Other schools in attendance that provided the greatest competition for UR included Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and the U.S. Naval Academy.

“At Villanova, the competition is a little tougher,” Nysenbaum said, comparing the recent success with that at Cornell last semester.

The participants slept in the arena at Villanova as well as on air mattresses in hallways.

One of the greatest obstacles the Midshipmen faced was the small size of their unit.

Nysenbaum explained that most schools, especially the Naval Academy, have 200 or more Midshipmen, while UR’s unit has less than 60. Because of this, many competitors had to do two or three MEC events over the course of the day, sometimes having to rush from one event immediately to another.

“Overall it was a big team effort,” Nysenbaum said.

Midshipman Jean-Marc Boullianne noted that at the Naval Academy, fourth-class Midshipmen, or freshman, don’t typically compete in largescale competitions like this one. At UR, however, it is a requirement. Because of this, he was surprised by the success of the unit.

“After working really hard for the entire year, I definitely got a sense of accomplishment and pride,” Boullianne said. “We did really well.”

For Nysenbaum and other Midshipman, NROTC competitions go beyond winning trophies.

“It teaches teamwork, it teaches being a competitive spirit that goes beyond yourself,” he said. “Everyone’s proud to represent the University of Rochester.”

Nysenbaum said that in the future, drill will be focused mostly on training. Midshipmen’s previous experience with sports helps the unit succeed in the athletic category, but the drill team just created a new routine this year, so there is still room for improvement.

MIDN Stephen Loder said of the competition, “With the bar being set this high, taking first place overall at Cornell and then Villanova, there is no reason why we shouldn’t continue to perform that well in years to come.”

McAdams is a member of the class of 2017.

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