A team of four Independence High Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) members placed 12th in the nation at the JROTC Leadership Competition from June 22-26.

In order to prepare, Kieran Smith, Keegan Reimer, Grant Parker and Isaac Reimer reviewed more that 3,000 questions from 110 lessons and three books on leadership principles.

This was the final level of the competition, which began with more than 1,700 teams and was whittled down to the top 40. Those top teams traveled to Washington, D.C. for the finals.

“More than half the high school competing had been there before, and we beat most of them,” said¬†Independence High JROTC instructor and Lt. Col. Charles Fields. “I am extremely proud of these young men and what they accomplished.”