Naval ROTC takes silver at national competition

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The UT Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is celebrating a second place finish at a prestigious national competition last week.

The team placed in the platoon basic drill event at the 2017 Mardi Gras Drill Meet, held at Tulane University Feb. 24. More than 20 colleges and universities competed at the meet.

Winning second place is a huge accomplishment for the team, said Jobin Murickan, computer science senior and NROTC battalion commanding officer. The team only had about four weeks of practice before going to competition, Murickan said.

“It feels good because we have never placed in recent memory,“ Murickan said. “We’ve been working on this event the hardest. Most teams spend the whole year preparing, so we’re really proud of ourselves.”

The platoon basic drill event consists of the team marching in perfect synchronization, Murickan said.

“We have a platoon of 17 people and we all march in sync,” Murickan said. “We all have rifles that we perform various movements with.” 

ROTC assistant professor Lt. Ryan Edwards said he is proud of how the team represented UT.

“This is a great way to show that the hard work that we put in pays off,” Edwards said. “The fact that we’re beating out the Naval Academy and West Point, along with some other military academies out there shows that the devotion and motivation of our students comes together to get the job done.”

Edwards said representing UT is a priority for NROTC.

“We want to spread the name of UT,” Edwards said. “Getting second place isn’t bad, and we can probably get first place next year with a little bit more practice. We’re willing to represent the University of Texas anywhere we can.”

History junior Jeremy Cerf competed at the drill meet and said the skills he’s acquired from training for this competition will help him achieve his goal of becoming a Marine Corps officer after graduation.

“Learning how to follow instructions helps the overall picture of someone aspiring to become a Marine Corps officer,” Cerf said.

Murickan said winning second place is a positive ending to his senior year at UT.

“It’s good to end on a high note,” Murickan said. “It’s good to finally place during my last drill competition. It feels good.”