Raiders Profile – Cadet Gunnery Sergeant Figueroa


Tristan Edwards

Raiders Competition at Romeoville High School. Cadet Figueroa can be seen doing pull ups at the far right of the picture.


MLA News: When and why did you join the raiders?

Cadet Gunnery Sergeant Figueroa: “This started way before I came to the school. I was interested because I had a goal to change myself and lose weight. I wasn’t really in the right mindset but when I found out about raiders during 8th grade and I was about to graduate and I was so interested in it and wanted to commit to it. I came to MLA for my Freshman year but it didn’t happen because of covid and online learning. I tried my hardest with PT during online learning and the I joined sophomore year last year”

MLA News: What was the most challenging part of raiders when you started out and how did you overcome that?

Cadet Gunnery Sergeant Figueroa: “Staying dedicated and consistent was the hardest part. They give you so many workouts and they also told you “‘Do it at home yourself”, I found that hard because I was building up myself and without anybody around to motivate me it was difficult.”

MLA News: What was your proudest moment of raiders?

“When I realized I was able to do it. We got 6t place in the competition last year and we had our biggest accomplishment getting 3rd place. I’m still craving that 1st place so I’m definitely training as hard as I can for it.”

  • Did you ever see yourself becoming a team captain?

“Actually I didn’t but when I started realizing that I was putting in the work and helping others improve because I wanted to help others with the same problems I was dealing with, struggling mentally and physically. Everyone goes through their problems and all it takes is opening up to someone to change yourself and the way you think.”

  • What do you want cadets who are interested in joining raiders to know before joining?

“Well if you want to join raiders, you have to come prepared. What’s waiting for you is not what you expect. It might sound easy but when you’re on it gets difficult. The point is not just to work hard and practice but you do it when nobody is watching. In life, a lot of people won’t believe in you so you have to learn to believe in yourself by working out, and at the end of the day it will pay off.”