Ranger commander preps for practices during pandemic

From+Left+-+%28Status+of+SY+2019-20%29+senior+Jianne+Miles%2C+sophomore+Eugene+Asis%2C+freshman+Bruce+Sipelii+mug+for+the+camera+after+getting+dirty+during+2020+Warrior+Recon+Challenge+before+the+pandemic+worsened.

By c/o Eugene Asis

From Left – (Status of SY 2019-20) senior Jianne Miles, sophomore Eugene Asis, freshman Bruce Sipelii mug for the camera after getting dirty during 2020 Warrior Recon Challenge before the pandemic worsened.

Althea Cunningham, reporter

Junior Eugene Asis is the JROTC Ranger Team Commander, and he has to face a lot of changes this year. 

The McKinley JROTC Ranger team plans to start practices after months of no activity due to the coronavirus. Weekly practices on campus will resume on Feb. 1. The plan is to send out safety contracts and revise the workout plans.

“It’s different being the ranger commander during the pandemic because it limits my abilities to do my duties, which is to make everyone competition ready,” Asis said

The Ranger Team consists of cadets who work out multiple times a week and practice various skills inspired by the military. This includes knot tying, land navigation and first aid. The rangers put their skills to the test against other JROTC programs around the island in competitions throughout the school year. As team commander, Asis is in charge of workout routines and preparing the team for the upcoming competitions. Before the pandemic, rangers practiced three to four times a week, having good times and working hard.

“I miss the hard workouts and being with my friends,” Asis said.

Asis’s workout plans have changed greatly to meet the safety standards cadets must follow. The whole team must wear masks and will be broken into groups of five with someone in charge of each squad. Asis and the JROTC instructors make sure that exercises can be done without any physical contact. 

“It’s very different from what we’re used to, but we can adapt to it,” said Asis

Asis said that, with so many people doing 100% virtual learning, he expects fewer people will show up and progress will slow down, but he’s still grateful that he can get back to working hard with his friends. 

“Rangers taught us teamwork, patience,” Asis said, “and it made us look at training to be a necessary part of life.”