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"What Exactly IS the Spirit Banner?"

The Spirit Banner is not a typical award where the winner can be measured or evaluated using any single criteria. It is a compilation of positive attributes that make a Junior ROTC program stand out as unique in their presentation of the drill program at the National High School Drill Team Championships. In short, the Spirit Banner is presented to the single school that best befits the proud traditions or "spirit" of the finest schools that have ever graced the stage of The Nationals. This may or may not mean the school captures top finishes at the event. Frankly, their finish on the drill floor actually matters little in regards to their consideration for this award (especially since the award recipient is choosen BEFORE the final scores are tallied!)

Many people then mistakenly assume this award is some type of "consolation prize" for schools that may never reach a National Championship Level at The Nationals. This a completely incorrect. Schools who are considered for this award epitomize what "winners" SHOULD be all about in all respects of the word, both on and off the drill floor. The deeds from the past year are strongly considered along with past accomplishments.

Schools presented with the Spirit Banner have a positive appreciation and understanding of what the Nationals are all about. They glorify the event by their sterling conduct both while competing and while not competing. They understand that drill is a part of a well-rounded program and work hard to ensure the program is always conducted in a first-class manner at all times. They speak well of the event during the year, provide ideas for improvement, and are constant positive ambassadors to the Nationals year-round. They conduct themselves at all times as honored partners of the event.

The school selected often can faces obstacles and obstructions that lesser schools may allow to derail their unit. They are supportive of other drillers, hard-working and approachable by other schools for the betterment of the sport of drill. Their organization and in general "the way they do business" is something that makes Sports Network International proud of their inclusion and association with the National High School Drill Team Championships. Schools presented with the Spirit Banner have a positive appreciation and understanding of what the Nationals are all about.

The winners of this award generally finish very well in the overall standings because they always get the absolute maximum effort from each cadet and parent booster in their attempt to win an overall title. They are humble and gracious in victory and look at deficiencies in defeat as a tool to get better. They are quick to look for any avenue that makes themselves, the event, and the schools around them better through their involvement.

In closing, Spirit Banner winning programs make their school, their district and even their state proud of not just the program, but of the men and/or women that these future civic leaders have become.

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