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Thunderbolt Lady Raiders Go Hard and Come Home with Regional Honors


Cadet Second Lieutenant Areona Simpson, Thunderbolt Regimental Public Affairs

October 16-- “Go Hard or Go Home!!,” screamed 12 voices in high-pitched tones, their faces grimed with dirt and streaked with sweat, still a bit out of breath from their last set of exercises. These 12 young ladies belong to the Thunderbolt Regiment’s Lady Raiders. The Lady Raiders grabbed one of the three US Army Cadet Command’s 6th Brigade, 9th Region berths in the Georgia State Army Junior ROTC Raider competition at Jenkins County High School on 29 September.

The girls completed a three-event physical fitness test, including two minutes of push-ups, two minutes of curl-ups (modified bent leg sit-ups) and a three mile team run. Ten members of the Raider team had to complete a combat cross country rescue (CCR) exercise carrying a stretcher weighing 120 pounds (to replicate an injured person and four rucksacks containing 25 pounds of weight in each rucksack over a designated obstacle course. The CCR is a timed event. The one-rope bridge event required the team to construct, negotiate and take down the bridge according to a time standard. The cadets took a written test on land navigation as well. The Thunderbolt Lady Raiders finished third in a field of nine schools.

On Saturday, October 6th, the Thunderbolt Raider team traveled to Elberton, Georgia and competed against a field made up of the last year’s state championship. Once again, the Lady Thunderbolts displayed their mettle by finishing in fourth place in a field of 27 schools and 700 Cadets. “I’ve coached Raider teams for 20 years,” First Sergeant Steven L. Browning, Army Instructor, Elbert County High School told the Thunderbolts. “You cadets have a great deal to be proud of. My Raider teams did not win at all for my first eleven years of coaching. Thunderbolts, you did well. This is your first year of competition and you leave this competition with two trophies.” First Sergeant Yusvf Brantley, the Raider Team coach stated, “I am so proud of every Raider team member. This year the Lady Raiders truly rose to the challenge. These girls want to win the State competition and move on to the national level. This may be our first year competing in Raider events; for sure it will not be our last. Our Lady Raiders placed a high mark on the wall by qualifying for the State championship in our first year. We’ll continue to pursue excellence in all of our endeavors in the coming years.”

When asked about the Lady Raider Team’s success, Cadet First Lieutenant Amber Williams commented “We turned ourselves into a very cohesive team this year. I am extremely proud of each member of the Lady Raiders. We intend to push ourselves as hard as we can. We want to win the state championship very badly.” Dr. Ryan Flowers, Director Career and Technical Education, Southeastern Early College and Career Academy (SECCA) said “The Lady Thunderbolts are students from the four battalions (high schools) that constitute our Army Junior ROTC program. These cadets epitomize the spirit of teamwork, dedication and devotion to duty. Cadet First Lieutenant Williams led the Lady Raiders through all of their training. First Sergeant Brantley did an absolutely marvelous job coaching all the Thunderbolt Raider teams. I am extremely proud of him and our cadets.”

At Elberton, the Lady Thunderbolts took second place in the Hummvee pull and third place in the rope bridge event last weekend in Elberton. The Regimental Raider team travels to Statesboro on Saturday, October 13th for the final Regional Raider competition. The Georgia State Championship occurs on October 26-28 in Winder, Georgia. We wish every Thunderbolt Raider team success in every endeavor.


(Back Row L-R) Cadet Lieutenant Shakia Salem, Cadet First Lieutenant Amber Williams, Cadet Private Joekida Sims, Cadet First Lieutenant Karstin Poole.  (Middle Row L-R) Cadet Major Chanaria Fussell, Cadet Lieutenant Jennifer Shim, Cadet Private Ncari Fussell, Cadet Private Katyiah Clark, Cadet Private Tiffany Kelley, Cadet Private Jordan Sherman.  (Front)-First Sergeant Yusvf Brantley, Thunderbolt Raider Coach. (Not pictured) Cadet Corporal Crystal Perkins.