Norwich Drill places second in national championships

Norwich University shock platoonNorwich University took second-place overall honors February 3rd in the annual Mardi Gras Drill Competition in New Orleans. The competition, hosted by Tulane University's Naval ROTC program, is the equivalent of the national championship for drill teams.

The Norwich Drill team, "Shock Platoon," was coming off of a successful competition at Cornell University in November, where they won first place in all eight events and took first-place overall. In New Orleans, Norwich went head-to-head against more than 95 teams from 50 schools. In addition to their second-place overall finish, the Cadets received trophies in four events, first-place in the Platoon Inspection and Platoon Regulation, and second-place in the Platoon Trick and Solo Exhibition. The solo exhibition was performed by Blake Jackson, a senior from Rahway, New Jersey. Overall first-place honors at the competition went to Texas A & M, and the third-place trophy was awarded to the Air Force academy.

"At the end of the day, Norwich was the team everyone was talking about," said junior Drill Team Company First Sergeant Christopher Cote. "This means more to us than getting the first-place trophy."

Shock Platoon Company Commander James Lamoureux, a senior from Keene, New Hamshire, agreed. "We were out there to show everyone that we are a young team and we will be giving them a great show for years to come," Lamoureux said.

The Shock Platoon was formed in 1937, and regularly performs in parades, official ceremonies, and special events on campus and throughout New England. Drill team members are required to learn numerous precision drill routines and provide support for special teams such as the Honor Guard, Saber Drill Team, and Color Guard. The Norwich University Regimental Color Guard was recognized in 1975 by Governor Thomas P. Salmon as the "Official Color Guard of the State of Vermont."