Meet Brandee Schiller, along with running, surfing, swimming, she is also going for top three this year in the Xterra Freedom Fest Triathlon and has a goal being in the Ironman. She is a scholar junior in high school and combines her intense training with living a simple life in Hawai'i. Brandee is a role model to the younger athletes and displays her sweet, humorous, and lively personality always. 

My name is Brandee Schiller and I take fitness very seriously. In the spring of 2012 I had just completed an intense physical fitness program in 8th grade that gave me the necessary high school credits for physical education. This fitness course consisted of three-hour daily sessions for three months, and took my athleticism to the next level.

My passion for athletics stems from living in Hawaii where I am blessed on a daily basis with warm weather and time spent in the great outdoors. I love to surf large waves on the North Shore and skateboard at the local parks. These two sports, while challenging at first, really go hand-in-hand. They have increased my focus and continue to peak my interest, along with helping me to build my agility and cardio tremendously.

Along with surfing and skateboarding, another passion is running. From the very first moment I entered high school I was determined to be one of the best long-distance runners in the state. This goal led me to the cross-country team as a freshman. Running became my new addiction, and I was determined to win, so I trained as hard as I could push my body. I was successful in my first cross country season, winning a few races and competing with upper-class athletes from the city, county and state. Suddenly, my outlook on track and life changed in a blink of an eye when I was introduced to our high school’s newest program, Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC). 

This program captures the values, duties and goals of the real military and narrows them down to the high-school level. High school students transform into well-disciplined cadets and learn and live by the seven Army Values; Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage (LDRSHIP). They do so many outside activities throughout the school year that no other school program even comes close to these real-life events that teach your life lessons. 

There is a part of JROTC that has a significant impact on nutrition and physical fitness education and application. Cadets are tested twice a year on their current fitness level, consisting of five events to measure your overall fitness with a one mile run, curl-ups, chin-ups, shuffle run and flexibility test. This challenge was always something that I looked forward to as an opportunity to measure my fitness levels with other cadets across the program and at a national level. Hard work paid off over the last three years as I have maintained the highest Cadet Challenge results for every test out of both men and women. This rigorous training has helped me beyond JROTC fitness, but with other sports.

That was where swimming came in. I had successfully accomplished cross country and track while being on the school’s swim team. However, I still wanted more outside of JROTC training and my favorite sports. That was where triathlons began to play a role in my life. As I look forward to my near-term goals, I plan to place in the top three ta the Xterra Freedom Fest at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu Northeast Coast, and if I qualify I will participate in the World Championships in Maui. Training for three hours a day is no joke. It’s hard work that requires you to wake up at 4 in the morning and train before school. It requires more work than the rigorous studying programs I follow, which keeps me on track with a 4.0 GPA and physically fit mentality.  Thanks to JROTC and my passion for sports, I have learned the valuable lesson of balancing multiple things.   

Within my school’s JROTC program, I am currently the Public Affairs Officer for the Trojan Battalion. On April 25 I will lead my Battalion on the mission to break the Guinness World-Record in a worldwide 5K event. This is the 99th celebration of the JROTC Program in our nation and I plan to lead by example through doing my part. Regardless of the outcomes, I will be here next year to help the National JROTC break the 2015 record as we get nearly one million cadets, alumni and instructors to help celebrate our Centennial year of this great program in which greatness has transpired from.

Without JROTC in my life, I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge and leadership experience in order to succeed beyond high school.  I am not only ready to go into the senior ROTC Program or Military Academies, but I am now ready to serve on active-duty in the Army.