JROTC Stallion Battalion brings the heat to Tinian Hot Pepper Festival

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TINIAN — The 16th Annual Pika Festival, which happened from February 14 to 16, 2020, was a busy, fun, and eventful time for the Tinian Stallion Battalion. To start the ceremony, the Color Guard team, consisting of Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Biton (commander), Cadet 1st Lt. Kiran Shrestha, Cadet First Sgt. William Tudela, and Cadet Sgt. Chit Acollador presented the colors.

After the conclusion of the ceremony, both the armed and unarmed drill teams prepared to showcase their amazing talents by performing a snippet of their incredible exhibition routines. After months of hard work and dedication, the teams were eager to show off what they had come up with so far.

Color guard team, from left, Cadet 1st Sgt. William Tudela, Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Julia Biton, Cadet 1st Lt. Kiran Shrestha, and Cadet Sgt. Chit Acollador.

The first to perform was the unarmed drill team. After their display of catchy cadences, unique rhythms, and impressive synchronization, it was no surprise that the people of Tinian were dazzled by their routine.

Next up was the armed drill team. The audience watched in awe as the team marched in cadence around the stage, spinning and throwing their rifles while staying perfectly in sync.

The following day, several cadets volunteered to assist those competing in the spicy burger-eating competition. Boasting the signature JC Café aprons and chef hats, the cadets happily assisted the contestants, holding the burgers for them and handing them water when needed. There were several competitions following the burger-eating competition, including the “tug-o-war” game that our very own Cadet Cpl. Gio Vergara volunteered to participate.

Tinian JROTC cadets volunteer to assist in the Spicy Burger Eating Contest. From left, C/CPL Chad Acollador, C/MAJ Keyla Flores, C/SSG Tyler Santos, C/CPT Charlene Danganan, C/CPL Gio Vergara, C/CPL Ciara Santos, C/1SG William Tudela, C/CPL Kylle Cruz, C/CSM Julia Biton, and C/SSG John Mark Palilio.  JROTC Stallion Battalion photos

Though it may be easy to get lost in the fun of the festival, the cadets never forget the importance of keeping the island clean. Throughout Pika Fest weekend, the Stallion Battalion conducted morning, afternoon, and evening sessions in which they picked up trash, replaced trash bags, and collected plastic bottles and aluminum cans. There were both blue and wired bins placed throughout the fiesta grounds designated specifically for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.

The Stallion Battalion extends our gratitude to the community for disposing of the plastic bottles and aluminum cans into their designated bins! The cans in these bins were collected by the cadets and will be recycled as part of the Tinian JROTC Aluminum Can Recycling Program. With every plastic bottle and/or aluminum can that is disposed of properly, Tinian is one step closer to being a trash-free paradise. The Stallion Battalion is always excited to help the community in any way and keep the island of Tinian as clean and beautiful as possible! Hooah!

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