Following COVID-19 safety protocols of small crowds, social distancing and wearing masks, Nease NJROTC held four separate promotion and award ceremonies across two days recognizing the cadet corps for exceptional performance during the first quarter.
Of the 236-cadet battalion, 113 cadets earned promotions for successfully passing a rigorous promotion exam as well as meeting conduct and performance requirements. Additionally, cadets received more than 650 individual awards for exceptional performance and achievement in the areas of community service, school service, aptitude, personal appearance and participation on one or more of the program’s competitive teams. Cadet company commanders directed formal military ceremonies during their respective class periods. As part of their hands-on leadership training, cadets organized, planned and executed the entire ceremonies.
“Attending (Area-12) Leadership Academy last summer helped me prepare for moments like this,” said Charlie Company Cmdr. Kaitlyn Boggs. “Sitting in a classroom and learning how to put together a major ceremony on paper is one thing, but actually leading one in front of the parents and school administrators was both nerve-racking and exhilarating.”
In addition to Boggs, company commanders Brandon Donovan, Jamila Rodriguez and Donovan Chapman led their cadets in ceremonies replete with the formal customs and courtesies seen in active-duty events.
Proud parents pinned the new ranks on their cadets during the ceremony.
“Nease NJROTC is a living, breathing leadership lab,” said senior naval science instructor Cpt. Scott LaRochelle. “Watching these cadets shine under the spotlight makes this job all the more worthwhile.”
The most prestigious awards presented during the day were the Sailors of the Quarter awards, given to the top performers from the past quarter. Cadets Hailey Pitches and Alaina Hussung received these esteemed awards.
Nease NJROTC has been recognized as the No. 1 NJROTC unit in Area-12 (Northern Florida and Georgia) for three consecutive years, and was the No. 5 Most Outstanding Unit in the nation in 2018.