Photos courtesy of Francis Lewis High School
The winning leadership team from Fresh Meadows.

A Fresh Meadows Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) team stood tall above the rest at a recent competition showcasing the nation’s best and brightest squads.

A total of 40 leadership teams and 24 academic teams out of thousands from across the nation were chosen to compete at this year’s JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl at Washington D.C.’s Catholic University of America on June 24-26. Francis Lewis High School’s Patriot Battalion Team took the top spot in the leadership portion of the competition.

Mohammad Shazeb, Kelly Xiao, Alan Cao and Tylon Guan met 10 hours a week to prepare for the national competition, which tests participants’ critical thinking, general Army knowledge and collaboration skills. The dedicated group was shocked and thrilled when they were announced as the winners, according to team captain Cadet First Sergeant Mohammad Shazeb.

“Overall, this just shows that hard work and persistence translate to sheer success and this wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for us placing ninth during my sophomore year in 2016,” Shazeb said. “Sometimes you learn more from losing and thankfully that was to be true … We now have gone on to win big in not only making our team proud, but our school, too.”

Major General Chris Hughes, commander of Fort Knox and U.S. Army Cadet Command, praised all of the Cadets who took part.

“One of the best parts of my job as commander is being able to get out and meet Cadets like you, almost daily,” Hughes said. “Each of you are incredibly talented and bright, and your performance here has given me hope for our nation’s future. Our nation and our world need each of you to strive to meet your full potential. Speaking for my generation, we are counting on you, we need you — you are our future.”



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