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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (April 10, 2015) -- California Baptist University Army ROTC presented a trophy from the John J. Pershing Memorial Drill Competition to Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, CBU president, on April 8.

Two teams from CBU's Army ROTC competed in the event last month in Richmond, Va. The CBU Army ROTC won The National Society of Pershing Rifles Best Company Award, while the male team placed third in the color guard competition. Cadet Kendall Morris also placed third in the Drill Ceremony Knockout competition.

"It shows the discipline, and it shows the dedication that the cadets have to the program," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Winkle, military science instructor.

The male team consisted of cadets Caleb Fink, Joshua Fink, Kendall Morris and Joel Powell.  It was Powell's second year on the team. Last year's first place team recognized its strengths and weaknesses and this year's team learned from that.

"What we did this year was really focus on picking out those weaknesses and learning from, say, our mistakes and learning from our strengths," Powell said. "We had a little bit more time this year to really focus on the little details."

Cadet Nathan Shimabukuro had previously competed and this year coached the teams.

"It was good to be able to mentor and then teach everything that I learned," he said. "I tried my best to instill in the younger cadets to always desire improvement. Practice was never a waste of time and I found that, at every practice, there was always something that could be changed for the better."

Shimabukuro also worked on building cohesion within the teams.

"No matter how knowledgeable or experienced any one person is, we all are still able to learn from one another," he said. "The most important mindset to have is one that puts others before one's self. Without the proper cohesion and dynamic, the team is unable to function and improve."

More than 400 college ROTC and high school JROTC cadets from across the nation attended the competition. Pershing Rifles drill teams compete in several categories, including squad regulation drill, platoon exhibition drill, individual drill and color guard.

Pershing Rifles is an ROTC related organization that was started by Lt. John J. Pershing in 1894 when he was the professor of military science at the University of Nebraska.