About Us



“We Will Not Lie, Steal, Or Cheat, Nor Tolerate Among Us Anyone Who Does.”


Integrity First
Service Before Self
Excellence In All We Do

We expect all cadets in the cadet corps to adhere to the honor code and core values, and display appropriate behavior at all times.


"Develop citizen of character dedicated to serving their nation and community.”

The Upstate Regional Drill Championships was founded in 2014, by Colonel David A. Rearick, who approached Ben Phillips, Executive Director of Anderson Lights of Hope about beginning a drill competition. With the resources between both individuals, the URDC was created.

Rearick joined the US Air Force in 1986 serving in multiple joint, staff and overseas assignments as a Cyber Warfare Officer. Colonel Rearick also served as a qualified Space Warfare and Personnel Officer.

He is a combat veteran serving in Operation DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Colonel Rearick oversaw the communications planning for the longest combat sortie in history, when B-2 bombers flying from Whiteman AFB in Missouri struck multiple targets in Afghanistan during initial military operations in the war against terrorism.

Colonel Rearick awards include the Space and Missile Systems Center Lance P Sijan Leadership Award, Air Force Space Command Communications Officer of the Year, Air Force Special Operations Command Personnel Officer of the Year, and Strategic Air Command Combat Crew Communications Officer of the Year. His many decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

Colonel Rearick served as the Vice Wing Commander, Goodfellow AFB, where he retired from active duty in 2011. He is now retired, former instructor of the Pendleton High School AFJROTC program. He resigned from the Drill Competition after the 2019 drill to retire to sunny Florida.


Ben Phillips, retired from television and radio broadcasting, brought the logistics, event management and financial means to create the event. Phillips named the event in honor of his grandfather, Colonel James L. Harden of Anderson, SC.

He attend schools in North Carolina and graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1987 with a Masters in Broadcast Communications. Over his career he has interviewed 4 US Presidents, many Senators and Congress members while working with the NBC NewsChannel in Charlotte, NC.  He spent his last 4 years in Anderson SC, doing freelance reporting for WYFF-4.

His free time allowed him to travel, emcee several county events, including the Celebrate Anderson, Solar Eclipse at Green Pond Landing and many others. 

Phillips family has been in Anderson County and traced back to before the American Reveloution. Decedent of David and Susan Sloan, Phillips family has had a military presence over the years.

    The event is named for Colonel James Leroy Harden USA, Ben Phillips Grandfather.

Anderson Lights of Hope with the assistance of Pendleton High School JROTC and T. L. Hanna High School NJROTC hosted the 5h annual Upstate Regional Drill Championships on March 2, 2019 at the T. L. Hanna High Football Stadium. The Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) has units in Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. These branches will be represented by students who have spent hundreds of hours training to compete. 

The Upstate Regional Drill Competition featured an estimated 700+ cadets. These cadets represented high schools regionally from NC, SC and Ga. Drill competition is designed to showcase military drill precision and foster an atmosphere of team and individual competition, while promoting true sportsmanship.

Cadets will compete in inspection, regulation, color guard and exhibition events, both armed and unarmed. The goal of JROTC is a program providing students with an opportunity to develop quality character, knowledge of their citizenship, and leadership skills. ALL Veterans and active military are invited & encouraged to attend this event. 

Members of the Army National Guard Unit in Anderson, area recruiters, Clemson ROTC Officers, and other active military soldiers will serve as judges. Council, Senators, Congressmen, Representatives, Governors, and other elected offices have been invited to attend. The doors open at 8:00 am and the first event begins at 9:00 am. Awards will be given out around 4:00 pm

Other trophies are named for those whom have served not only the United State of America but Anderson County.

First Place - Color Guard -  Master Sergeant Jon Saunders, Instructor Pendleton HS.  USAF

First Place - Regulation Individual Armed - Tom Allen, Anderson County Council, USA

First Place - Open Ranks Inspection - Kenneth Waters, Anderson County Council, USAF

First Place - Exhibition Unarmed Duet - Colonel Dave Rearick, Instructor Pendleton HS. USAF


                                                          Copyright 2014-2019           Upstate Regional Drill Competition