The 12th annual Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps awards ceremony at East Union High on Friday was a swan song of sorts for Carin Martz.
The Lancer Battalion’s highest-ranking cadet turned over the leadership role over to Luciano Delorea during the change-of-command ceremony.
Martz, a senior, is joining the U.S. Army shortly after graduation. She’ll be leaving for Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in July for basic training and, later, to Ft. Lenningwood, Mo.
“Thanks to my two instructors (Karl Knutsen and David Torres) I’m better prepared for life after high school,” said Martz in her closing statement.
The awards event was scaled down due in part to the forces of Mother Nature. As a result, the retiring of the Old Glory – in this rite, cadets place a faded or tattered stars and stripes into a fiery cauldron – had to be scratched because of the howling winds.
However, the awards were still distributed as planned.
Included were the following:
• Cadets of the month – March, Charles Correia / Kaitlyn Benedetti; April, Kenneth Preston / Michael Bustillo.
• JROTC citizenship – Alexandria Ayers, Victoria Ramos, Darryl Oricompil, Vanessa Rodriguez.
• Academic honor student, 4.0 GPA – Sherry George.
• Cadets of the year – Luciano Delorea, William Alexander.
• Most improved – Rachel Sandoval, Correia.
• U.S. Marine Corps recruiting – Distinguished athlete, Christopher Wells / Rodriguez; scholastic, Tyler Clayton; music, Martz.
• Veterans of Foreign War – Brittany Davis, Martinez.
• American Veterans – William Alexander.
• JROTC achievement – Jakob Taylor.
• Military Order of the Purple Heart – Rebekah Jacobson.
• Military Order of the World Wars – Savannah Scholl.
• U.S. Army Recruiting Command – Anissa Armstrong, Dane Wise.
• U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association – Gold, Hector Chavarin; Silver, Jessica Hobbs; Copper, Kayla Hardesty.
• Daughters of the American Colonists – Armstrong.
• Daughters of the American Revolution – Brittany Waller.
• Sons of the American Revolution – Chavarin.
• Scottish Rites – Delorea.
• Military Officers Association – Luis Aguilar.
• National Sojourners – Brannon Friggle.
• American Legion – Vanessa Rodriguez.
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Stanford.
• Non-Commissioned Officers Association – Friggle.
• Order of Daedalians – Reanna Brewer.
• Superior Cadets – 1. William Alexander, 2. Jessica Hobbs, 3. Delorea, 4. Martz.
• Association of the United States Army – Martz.
Delorea along with Armstrong, Benedetti, Alexander, Friggle, Scholl, Hanna Mack, Wise, Bailey Davis, Chavarin, and Aguilar were all promoted.
“This is a time-honored tradition,” said Knutsen of the annual change-of-command ceremony. “It’s the passing of the flag and relinquishing of power (by Martz to Delorea).”