Cadet Caden Noakes, right, receives a Naval Science Outstanding Cadet ribbon from Cadet Cmdr. Jacob Torrez during Thursday’s Los Alamos High School NJROTC Spring Awards Ceremony. Courtesy photo
Scene from Los Alamos High School NJROTC Spring Awards Ceremony Thursday evening in the Parish Hall at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Courtesy photo
By C/EN Hailey Jackson
The Los Alamos High school NJROTC unit Spring Awards Ceremony Thursday evening at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall recognized and awarded Cadets for unit participation, drill team, marksmanship competition teams, color guard, physical fitness and community service. Cadet David Kwei received recognition as Cadet of the Semester.
Outstanding Naval Science (NS) 1 cadets included Aria Schmierer, Hailey Jackson, James Bourguet, Caden Noakes, David Kwei, and Alex Tuning. Outstanding NS 2 cadet was Caden Cionek. Outstanding NS 3 cadets were Jacob Thompson, Cameron Armstrong, Kaden Lim, and Echo Rogers. Outstanding NS 4 cadets were Jacob Torrez, Austin Estrada, Vincent Maestas, Richard Thompson, and Neil Wilkerson. Cadet David Kwei received recognition as Cadet of the Semester.
LTC Gregg Geisler, Ret., Commander of the Military Order of World Wars, Chapter 229, presented awards for outstanding individuals in each level. Aria Schmierer, NS1; Caden Cionek, NS2; Jacob Thompson, NS3; and Jacob Torrez, NS4. Richard Thompson received the Award of Merit and Marie MacInnes received the MOWW Scholarship.
Linda Alt of the Valle Grande Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution presented the Daughters of the American Revolution Bronze Medal to Austin Estrada. This award is presented to a cadet who demonstrated loyalty and patriotism with qualities of dependability, good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership, and a patriotic understanding of citizenship development through JROTC training.
Cmdr. Linda Fox presented the American Legion Post 90 awards for military excellence to Hailey Jackson,Trystan Osburn and Rene Macinnes and for academic excellence to Trystan Osburn and Jacob Torrez.
Dan Norris of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and Purple Heart recipient presented the Military Order of the Purple Heart medal to Richard Hensley. This award recognizes a positive attitude toward citizenship, holding a leadership position, being is active in school and community, and having a “B” grade point average.
Five cadets received the Thurston A. Griffith Award of Student Involvement. Griffith was a varsity athlete and honor roll student who served in Vietnam after graduating from West Point. Jacob Torrez, Richard Thompson, Jacob Thompson, and Neil Wilkerson received the Griffith Award.
Parents Tabitha Estrada and Michele Wright received the Admiral J.A. Sagerholm Award for distinguished parent support. Sagerholm graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and was the Chief of Naval Education and Training when LAHS NJROTC was chartered in 1983.
The awards portion of the program culminated with recognition of graduating seniors Cameron Armstrong, Austin Estrada, Aiden Jaramillo, Marie Macinnes, Vincent Maestas, Phoenix Rogers, Jacob Thompson, Richard Thompson, Jacob Torrez and Neil Wilkerson.
“This is an outstanding group of students, truly a pleasure to work with this past school year,” CMDR Brian Gauck, Senior Naval Science Instructor said during his remarks to the family, friends, and guests assembled for the program.
Seniors presented a single rose to their parents in appreciation for their love, support, and encouragement.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the Change of Command Ceremony took place and previous cadet staff of the program passed on the torch to the upcoming staff for the next year.
Cadet staff for 2018-2019 are: C/LCDR Nicholas Berndt, Commanding Officer; C/LT Richard Hensley, Executive Officer; C/LT Trystan Osburn, Operations Officer; C/SCPO Awan Ellenwood, Senior Enlisted; C/LTJG Stephen Gulley, Intervention, Recruiting and Retention; C/LTJG Alex Proicou, Administration; C/ENS Aria Schmierer, Supply; C/LTJG Caden Cionek, Training; C/ENS Hailey Jackson, Adjutant and Public Affairs; C/ENS Kevin Roybal, First Lieutenant; C/ENS David Kwei and C/ENS Alex Tuning, Armory. The upcoming staff will be trained in their new positions until the previous staff graduates.
The Spring Awards Ceremony was a major success and gave everyone an insight to the future of the program. The NJROTC cadets would like to thank Tabitha Estrada and Michele Wright, the NJROTC Booster Club, parents, and LAHS administration and faculty for their support of Naval Science and NJROTC citizenship programs.
Los Alamos High School NJROTC cadet staff members, from left, Richard Thompson, Caden Cionek, Stephen Gulley, Richard Hensley, Alex Proicou and Jacob Torrez sound off to a compliment received during the annual Area Management Inspection conducted by CDR Merv Dial Thurday at LAHS. Courtesy photo