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U of M Naval ROTC Unit Will Host National Drill Team Competition March 28 University News
For release: March 12, 2009

For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901/678-2843

Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Midshipmen and their active duty Naval Science instructors from around the nation will meet in Memphis on March 28 for a drill meet at the University of Memphis.  Approximately 400 students and 25 instructors will convene here.  This is only the second such meet the U of M has hosted – the first was last year – but already it has become the second largest drill meet in the country, with competitors coming from NROTC programs at 18 universities.

At the first U of M-hosted drill team competition last year, six universities were represented, from as far away as the University of California at Berkeley.  The U of M team won that meet, also.  But the event created such a ‘buzz’ among NROTC programs around the country, that this year’s field is three times larger.

Drill Team
The meet is sponsored by the Naval ROTC program at the University of Memphis, where, after a 14-year absence, the drill team was re-organized in 2007 by Marine Gunnery Sergeant Curtis Osburn, assigned to the U of M’s Naval ROTC program as the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor (AMOI).  GySgt Osburn’s team competed in two events in 2008; out of seven teams at the Auburn University meet, they came in second, and at the largest drill meet in the country at Tulane, the U of M team came in 15th out of a field of 49.  At this year’s Auburn meet, the U of M team won the competition, after placing in every category but one.

 This year’s meet, in addition to featuring more college and university ROTC teams, will also be an opportunity for high school-level Junior ROTC students to visit the campus and meet their college counterparts and their instructors.  They will be guests of the event on Friday, March 27, and the actual competition will take place the next day.

Competition will begin at 6 a.m. on the track adjacent to the Hayden Hall ROTC Building.  The first event will be an endurance challenge consisting of push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and a rope climb, with three 1.7-mile runs interspersed between those segments.

Following the endurance challenge, drill events will include unit uniform inspection, basic drill and exhibition drill for platoon and squad, one-man and two-man exhibition drill, and color guard.

Judging criteria include a unit’s overall precision and execution of drill movements, discipline, confidence, attention to detail, command presence, and knowledge of Naval details.

Teams will represent the universities of Florida, Illinois, Memphis, Michigan, Mississippi, and Wisconsin, plus Iowa State, Jacksonville, Marquette, Purdue, Savannah State, Tulane, Embry Riddle, George Military College, and North Georgia College.

For more information, contact the Marine Officer Instructor, Captain David Godwin, by phone at 901-678-4209 or via email at, or the Assistant Marine Officer Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Curtis Osburn, by phone at 901-678-4350 or via email at

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