Members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will participate in the annual Jaffe Eager Squad and Eager Individual drill competitions on April 2.

The Jaffe Eager Squad drill competition will be in the Perry Street Parking Lot 3 near Durham Hall at 1145 Perry St. The first unit will start the drill competition at 7 a.m. and the last should conclude at about 10 a.m. 

The Eager Individual competition will be on the Upper Quad outside Thomas Hall at 191 Turner St. NW. The Eager Individual competitors will start at 10:30 a.m. and conclude by about 12:15 p.m. All are welcome to watch the competitions.

Each cadet company will field a squad consisting of a junior class cadet commander, two sophomore class cadets serving as squad leaders, and eight freshman squad members. Each cadet’s uniform and rifle will be inspected, and then the team will conduct the marching portion of the competition. 

In addition to the squad-level competition, every company will be represented by a freshman and a sophomore cadet for the Eager Individual competition, which determines the most knowledgeable and best drilled freshman and sophomore in the corps. The first part of the individual competition is a test on required cadet knowledge.  Then each cadet will be individually inspected and tested on proficiency with Armed Standard drill.

The top freshman is recognized with the Lt. Edward Raney Freshman Proficiency Award, and the top sophomore receives the John E. Hill Memorial Sophomore Proficiency Award.

The Jaffe Eager Squad Trophy, presented to the winner of the Annual Eager Squad Drill competition, is named in honor of the late Jeff Jaffe, a member of the Corps of Cadets Class of 1942. Each of the 11 members of the winning squad is recognized with a cash award made possible by a trust established by Jaffe. 

Jaffe was a member of his unit's Eager Squad when he was a cadet and the experience meant so much to him that he wanted to make sure it was still a meaningful event today. Beginning in 2004, Jaffe donated the money to purchase the trophy and plaque, as well as annually giving the monetary award for the winning cadets.

Members of the winning squad and the two individual winners wear a special patch on their uniform designating their accomplishment for the remainder of their cadet career.

All winners will be recognized at the April 21 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Military Awards Ceremony. This is one of the most intense and valued competitions of the year for the Corps of Cadets.

Members of the Gregory Guard, the Corps of Cadets precision rifle drill team, serve as the inspectors for this Jaffe Eager Squad drill competition and the drill portions of the Eager Individual competition. Members of the cadet Inspector General staff will inspect the Eager Individual competitors and administer the knowledge test.

The Corps of Cadets will conduct the competitions in accordance with FM 22-5, the Army’s Field Manual on Drill and Ceremonies to determine the best-drilled squad and individual in the Corps of Cadets.  All rifles used in the drill competition and individual drill inspections are demilitarized (no firing pin) rifles.

Share this story