Before the 2016-17 school year started, the leaders on the regimental staff came to school early to train and prepare to lead their peers for the next year. During that time Upper School English teacher who was starting his second year at Farragut, Andrew Lacroix, proposed the idea of Battalion Wars to the cadet leaders.
“I previously taught for three years at a boarding school in Pennsylvania where they divided the boarding students into societies, basically like Harry Potter, and the groups would compete against each other,” said Lacroix. After observing life at Farragut for a year, he felt this was an idea he could bring to our school to build school spirit and friendship among the students. “I learned that some students may be homesick or others are not as into the military as others, but I saw this as a way to raise excitement and unity. I spent a lot of time discussing it with the Head of Upper School, Tom McGlinn, and our 1st Sergeant, Sgt. Worthy and from there we pitched it to the regimental staff.”
The regimental staff loved the idea and the three battalions were created and are led by three of the top senior leaders on the Regiment chosen by Naval Science. This year’s leaders are Zachary Fine ‘17, Bravo Battalion (lion, color red); Patrick Hales ‘17, Charlie Battalion (greek wreath of knowledge, color green); and Kyndal Olander ‘17, Alpha Battalion (skull, color blue). For each battalion to be diverse, the battalions are chosen at random with an equal amount of boarding and day students. Also, every year, the new battalions will have the opportunity to redesign the graphic, while keeping the same color and icons of the inaugural year.
“So far the kids love it and have gotten really into it,” said Lacroix. The first Battalion War of the school year was held in September and consisted of each battalion selecting members to participate in competitions like holding the longest plank, basketball drills, relays, and push ups. “The energy from our students was insane. Special thanks to the help of Head Track Coach and Fitness Trainer, Coach Prather who has helped get the kids pumped up with his chants.”
The Battalion Wars are not only physical, but also include academic competitions like brain bowls, philanthropic competitions to see which battalion donates the most, and participation competitions for events like Spirit Week.
Sgt. Worthy said, “It’s great to see the battalions work together towards a common cause and the esprit de corps is strong. Our cadets have taken pride in their battalion and they strive to be better, and you can see the results during parades and practice.”
Worthy will occasionally let the best battalion leave parade practice a little early and an added incentive.
“It’s definitely been good for school spirit,” said Zachary Fine, leader of Bravo Battalion. “Our pep rallies weren’t very exciting before, but this year it’s been different. We all really enjoy the events and it is has brought us all closer together.”
The winning battalion of this school year will get a trophy with their battalion name and year to be displayed on campus. Every year the next winner will be added to the trophy.