Everyone has a story to tell, and Col. Patrick Rivette loves to discuss his Story.
Evans High School's senior army instructor knows that JROTC Cadet Maj. Adara Story is one for the books.
"She just has a lot of drive. She wants to be the best at whatever she's doing," Col. Rivette said of the senior team captain. "I think she relishes the challenge of hanging with the guys."
Female cadets are a rarity for the Knight Raiders, and when Story joined the battalion as a sophomore, there were some doubters.
"The first year my commander was my own boyfriend and he didn't think I could do too well," Story said. "You just have to get out there and prove yourself. If you really want it, you're going to push yourself harder."
Story joined the JROTC for a simple reason. "I wanted to play in the mud."
Now, the rest of the Raiders are eating her dust.
"She's as impressive as any guy," Col. Rivette said. "She's an inspiration, but it can be embarrassing. There are only one or two guys on the varsity that can outperform her."
Story records perfect scores on the female Physical Training test, which is graded on the number of push-ups and sit-ups done in a two-minute period, and a 2-mile run, which are all done consecutively.
Of course, Story measures herself by a higher standard.
"I don't even know what the PT standards for females are. I go by the male standards. I like knowing I can do as many push-ups as any guy in the team, and exceed that. Staying fit is one of the most important things you can do."
Story certainly is fit, mentally and physically, to lead the Knights into rigorous JROTC competitions.
"The work is demanding, and there's a lot of thinking involved. You're strengthening your body as well as your brain," she said. "I didn't think, as a female, I'd be on top commanding, but I've shown that I really love this. What you put into the program is what you get out."
Many military recruiters have courted Story, and though she is considering that career path, her experience with the Knight Raiders has set the stage for success in any endeavor she chooses.
"There's more to the program than meets the eye. This course is about training people to be better citizens," Story said. "When you start breaking down all these features of ROTC, I've learned a great deal. It definitely helps you with any job that you'll do, and gives you that confidence and leadership that you need."
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