Return to Headlines

Kofa MCJROTC team finishes in Marine Corps top 4 at national academic bowl

PICTURED: (From left to right) Cadet Staff Sgt James Klienwachter, Cadet Staff Sgt Tanner Garner, Sgt Maj Collen Laarman, CadThe Kofa High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) placed fourth in the U.S. Marine Corps JROTC Academic Bowl Championship (JLAB) on June 24-28, 2022, held on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. 


The finish at the JLAB championship means Kofa owns the No. 4 spot in the nation among MCJROTCs.


Kofa’s JROTC Academic Team composed of Cadet Staff Sergeant James Klienwachter, Cadet Staff Sergeant Brandon Fernandez, Cadet Staff Sergeant Tanner Garner, and Cadet Private First Class Jesus Gaeta competed in the Championship event in Washington, DC. 


Kofa High School’s JROTC team earned top scores out of the 108 Marine Corps JROTC academic teams that competed from around the world in February during round two of the competition. They were one of only eight MCJROTC Academic Bowl teams in the nation to advance to the final competition, which included the all-expense paid trip to the Nation’s capital. During the two days of fast-paced preliminary rounds, cadets were tested on their knowledge of core curriculum such as math, science, and language arts as well as current events, citizenship, leadership skills, and financial literacy. Kofa High School MCJROTC finished fourth against the top 8 Marine Corps Teams competing in the Junior Leadership Academic Bowl competition from across the nation.


“Our JROTC Cadets spent countless hours studying and preparing for this event and achieved success at the highest level showing what they are truly capable of,” KHS MCJROTC instructor Sgt Maj Colen Laarman said.


This JROTC Leadership & Academic Bowl is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps JROTC and is conducted by the College Options Foundation. This event is a nationally recognized competition created exclusively for JROTC students. By participating, cadets learn the values of citizenship, academic competition, and college opportunity.


The MCJROTC program is part of Career & Technical Education (CTE) at Kofa High School. The program is led by Laarman and Maj Birney and serves more than 130 cadets. In the past four years, the program has earned countless honors, ranging from rifle and physical training competition awards, scholarships, and being recognized as a prestigious Naval Honors School.

Christian Magana