No, not the FIFA World Cup or the NASCAR Sprint Cup, but The East Forsyth Iron Eagle Battalion competed in, and won, the 9/11 Public Safety Challenge on September 12th. LTC Walter McCormick and MSG Dale Hissim, the army instructors for JROTC at East, took their three teams: drill, raider, and rifle, to the Winston Salem Fairgrounds Annex to compete in this event.
The challenge was set up by Ed McNeal, Winston Salem’s communications director. McNeal and the Winston Salem City Council were trying to find new ways to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks, and the idea of this competition became popular. According to the Winston Salem Journal, McNeal said, “What we thought about was focusing on high school-age young people to begin to tell them about the work in public safety.”
Also adding on to the ceremony, McNeal presented 1SG Joe Sumpter and LTC Willie McCoy, the directors of army instruction in Forsyth county, a check for $5,000 to help supply all ten JROTC units in Forsyth county.
The challenge consisted of the rifle team firing at targets from the standing, kneeling, and prone positions. The rifle team came in first overall. The drill team also had an unarmed squad marching regulation drill, and the drill team came in second overall. Randy Townsend (’16) was the representative for the raider team. He had to do sprints, jump over and go under obstacles, roll around with a dummy, do a fireman’s carry up a flight of stairs in fire gear, then drag a 150 pound dummy as fast as possible. Townsend came in third overall.
At the end of the day, the East Forsyth Iron Eagle Battalion came home with arms full of trophies, including the first annual 9/11 Cup.