NJROTC Hosts Micah Jay Andersen Shoulder to Shoulder and Brain Brawl Competition


Saturday Nov. 1, the Los Alamos High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) unit hosted the Micah Jay Andersen Shoulder to Shoulder and Brain Brawl Competition. This event was the first of its kind in Area 9, which includes seven states and 60 schools.

The Los Alamos unit named the competition after a former cadet and LAHS graduate who was injured in Afghanistan by an IED and is now recovering in San Antonio.

The competition was held in the ROTC building at the high school and had six competing schools, including West Mesa High, Santa Fe High, Belen High, Montrose High, Cleveland Academy and Rio Rancho High. Gunnery Sgt. Bret Painter hosted the brain brawl section of the competition, asking cadets questions of military history, chain of command, and other military related topics using his best Alex Trubek impersonation.

A new buzzer system was utilized for the event that uses wireless buttons to ring in everyone who responds in order and keeps track of the score. Lt. Cmdr. Wes Shumaker was in command of the shooting aspect of the competition. He was in control of the targets, the schedule, and made sure that all safety protocols and regulations were followed.

The Los Alamos cadets helped with the parking, campus tours, guiding schools around, and planning the event. In the end, the overall winner was Rio Rancho High School. Many of the cadets made new friends and acquaintances with cadets from other schools and everyone enjoyed the competition.