Ladies, Get In Formation

New AFJROTC team marches in


Sophia Dominguez

The Golden spades perfect their sequences in the band parking lot after school.

The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps [AFJROTC] cadets march after school through the halls with rifles, flags and sabers, but now a new team for the girls prepare to compete.

The Golden Spades is a team of dedicated girls who have been working on creating this exhibition sequence.

“I’m so excited to perform this new sequence since we’ve been working hard to perfect it,” sophomore Wendy Godoy said.

This team is special due to the fact that the cadets do not just march like the regulation drill teams, the girls can be more imaginative and expressive in the way they perform for the judges.

“Learning this new type of drilling was a bit challenging at the beginning, along with painful,” deputy commander sophomore Sherri Escobar said “But it is a lot of fun practicing the different sequences and movements.”

This team is so unique, made and worked on so hard by the girls who formed it this summer they’ve collectively made a name for themselves to be different from the other teams AFJROTC has. The name incorporates the eccentric style of drill and the great school spirit they have.

“When we finally began to create our very own sequence, the spade was the first move.” Escobar said. “While coming up with a team name, we had the idea to begin every sequence we make with a spade and have that be out sort of trade mark was brought up and bam, there the Golden Spades was born.”

Regulation drill is the basics for all the different teams in AFJROTC. It teaches the cadets how to stand up straight, dig there heels into the ground as they march, have stiff arms and how to move their feet to do facing movements. Exhibition builds on to this by adding in movements similar to dance and cheer.

“Learning basic drill is great , I have it down because I am in different activities like Regulation Unarmed and Novice to be prepared for doing exhibition,” freshman Ashlyn Lowery said.

With this, the girls can have as much fun with making this sequence however they want. Hart herself made the base of the sequence, then let the rest of the girls put their own spin on how they wanted to make it their own original sequence.

I had given the team the overall sequence, I took input from them on how they wanted to do certain movements and incorporated movements that they suggested into the final product that we have been practicing with,” Hart said.  

During regulation, the only ‘speaking’ is done by the commander, unlike exhibition in which the whole team can do ‘call-and-response’ chants during the team’s sequence. The Golden Spades did this in such a unique way, by putting an inside joke in the sequence where Hart will say ‘Sound reveille’ and the girls will respond with ‘Who’s Reveille Ma’am’.  

“‘Who’s Reveille, Ma’am’ is an inside joke from the fish camp when exhibition was just starting.” Hart said. “This was incorporated as a joke for one practice and just ended up staying because we like it so much.”

Between making the team from scratch and the four practice days each week, they’ve grown closer together.

“I love going to practice just spending time and bonding while perfecting all of our hard work. You can always get a laugh in during practice,” Escobar said.

The team itself has progressed so much since the beginning of the year, but this is not the first attempt of having an exhibition team for the girls. Hopefully with the involvement between the girls this time it’ll be a successful attempt that carries on after the girls who have established this unique team graduate.

“There had been a few attempts from past commanders who were unable to create a team and execute a sequence. I believe it will carry on after we graduate since the younger girls really enjoy it and are willing to put the work in that is required,” Hart said.

The Golden Spades plan to debut their perfected sequence next school year for freshman who are planning on joining AFJROTC.

“I plan on performing this sequence to the incoming freshman next year to hopefully inspire the new girls joining to continue this team after I graduate next year,” Hart said.