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Volunteer NJROTC installs new student leadership during virtual awards ceremony

STAFF REPORT • Jun 22, 2020 at 1:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — The Volunteer High School NJROTC held its annual Awards Night virtually from the school auditorium on May 6 to recognize the various accomplishments of the cadets and announce the new student leadership.

Around 200 NJROTC academic and program awards were presented to the 52 cadets, and 38 awards were presented by veterans groups and community organizations.

Senior naval sciences instructor Maj. Steven Bickford announced the recipients of the awards of Unit Service, Exemplary Personal Appearance, Exception Conduct, Aptitude, Outstanding Naval Science Platoon, and Varsity Letters for performance throughout the school-year.

Following the lists of award, individual cadets were recognized for the highest NJROTC awards and for the community and veterans organization awards.

Honor Cadet and Distinguished Cadet: freshman Nathanial Thomason, sophomore Olivia Cattrell, junior Abigail Rider, and senior Nicole Carvagno.

Four cadets were recognized for making a commitment to serve in the armed forces with a cord to wear at graduation: Steven Devore (Marine Corps, enlisted), Brandon Smith (Marine Corps, enlisted), Brandon Hill (Army, enlisted), and Gavin Sutherland (Army, enlisted).

Local organizations who sponsored awards include: American Legion Post 21, AmVets, Daughters of 1812, Daughters of the American Revolution, Scottish Rite, National Sojourners, Assoc. of the US Army, Retired Enlisted Assoc., Reserve Officers Assoc., Veterans of Foreign Wars, Korean War Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Military Order of World Wars, Marine Corps League Det 969, Scottish American Military, Vietnam Veterans of America, Military Officers Assoc. of America, Sons of American Revolution, US Army Reserve, and Tennessee National Guard.

Cadet Brandon Smith was recognized as the Cadet of the Year by Virginia Tech Navy ROTC, and Cadet Jaden-Ann Fraser received the Ladley Family Naval Aviation Award.

The 2020-2021 senior leaders were installed:

Command master chief: Cadet Master Chief Petty Officer Abigail Rider was relieved by Cadet Master Chief Petty Officer Olivia Cattrell.

Executive officer: Cadet Lt. Jaden-Ann Fraser was relieved by Cadet Lt. Nicholas Luksha III

Cadet commanding officer: Cadet Commander Brandon Smith was relieved by Cadet Commander Abigail Rider.

The graduating seniors were “rung ashore” in a traditional naval ceremony, announcing their formal departure from the unit.

The mission of Navy JROTC is to instill the values of citizenship, service to the United States, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment. Trips to military bases and universities around the region help accomplish this mission by showing cadets opportunities that await upon completion of high school. Cadets receive academic credit for their enrollment in JROTC while earning community service hours, participating in extracurricular activities, and developing leadership attributes. Cadets have no military obligation for participating in JROTC, but they can receive promotion in the armed forces should they choose to enlist.

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