About Us

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.

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,  hosted the 4rd annual Upstate Regional Drill Championships on March 3, 2018 at the Anderson Civic Center. 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 1,168 cadets. These cadets are from high schools regionally located throughout the Southeast United States. 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 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



Pendleton High School JROTC


NAME: Lt. Col. Rick Moxley

            Master Sgt. Robert Cox

LOCATION: Pendleton, South Carolina


SUBJECTS: Senior Aerospace Science Instructor 

The Pendleton Air Force JROTC program provides a diverse and challenging curriculum.  The AFJROTC instructors have over 50 years of military experience to include tours in England, Turkey, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Portugal.  They are dedicated to providing a course designed to encourage personal growth, responsibility, and leadership

Several before and after school activities, teams, and community service opportunities are available for those cadets who want to be involved and further their leadership skills.  Cadets have the opportunity to:

• Participate in JROTC Clubs to include Rocketry and Aircraft Modeling.

• Join the Marksmanship, Academic Bowl, and Drill Teams and compete against other schools.

• Attend field trips to military bases, air shows, aviation industry, and leadership events.

• Accept membership into the Kitty Hawk Honor Society.

Cadets desiring to advance in rank and assume increased leadership responsibility must be involved in community service and school activities.

By law, cadets are required to wear the Air Force uniform once a week. Uniform issue is free of charge but each student is responsible for the maintenance and security of their uniform. There is a $30.00 fee to cover uniform maintenance and other miscellaneous program costs. This fee is reduced or waived based on financial need.

                                                          Copyright 2014-2018           Upstate Regional Drill Competition