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Hobbs earns coveted Ripon JROTC honor
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The coveted, nearly four feet high, Audie Murphy Trophy went to JROTC cadet Captain T.J. Hobbs at the annual Ripon High JROTC awards ceremony and banquet for the Indian Battalion.

Some 300 cadets, family members and guests filled the Ripon community center for the ceremonies that included a change of command for retiring U.S. Army Instructor Lt.Col Patrick Dunn as well as for the leader of the cadet Battalion.

Hobbs was described as a cadet chosen for demonstrating high levels of leadership, being versatile and for being highly technical in military drill, demonstrating teamwork and having a “never quit” attitude plus a four year full-ride military school scholarship receiving the traditional saber.

Daelynn Dabney won the Sgt. Joseph W. Perry Memorial Scholarship given for outstanding citizenship, academics, leadership and excellence in athleticism and academics. 

In addition the Pathfinder Award was presented to cadets showing their commitment to their peers and to the Ripon High JROTC program. It was presented this year to Lt. Andria Martin and Staff Sgt Everise Grant.

Every year one cadet from each level of the military program is chosen for the Cadet of the Year. It honors those being in the top 10 percent of their group and for demonstrating outstanding qualities for leadership and scholastic leadership. Receiving the Cadet of the Year Honors were Nathan Leslie, Marissa Poyorena, Marissa Regalo and Sarah Hall.

The NCO of the Year recognition was award to Alexis Kuhse and Mireya Garcia for their outstanding leadership, dedication and team building skills demonstrated in the 2013-2014 Ripon JROTC school year. 

Officer of the Year honors went to Adriona Veralas for his outstanding leadership, dedication and team building skills that were also demonstrated in the 2013-2014 school year. 

Staff Officer of the Year awarded for exceptional achievement in the operational and administrative actions of the Indian Battalion during the 2014-2015 school year in addition to maximum scores received during the JROTC accreditation as well as receiving significant accomplishments combined with their dedication to duty were Ashley Hovis, Daelynn Dabney, Natalie Finazzo, Kaitlyn Batterton and Grasie Franco Carreno. 

The Warrior Award was presented to 11 cadets for having a never quit attitude, striving for excellence and exceeding the standard through adversity. Those included Abby Kissee, Hunter Ricketts, Tyler Keener, Samantha Fox, Emma Granum, Jacob Nutt, Cassidy Hill, Andrew Fikijs, Aaron Cuthberson, Caleb Carlson and Delany Buss.

The Ripon Veterans of Foreign Wars awards were presented by Commander Fred Garber. The Leadership Excellence Award went to Nathaniel Gagnon for being in the top 25 percent of his class academically in the JROTC and demonstrating outstanding qualities in military leadership, discipline, character and citizenship.

The VFW Academic Excellence Award went to Wesley Mohler for being in the top ten percent of her class in academic subjects and her participation in student activities, also presented by Commander Garber. 

The AMVETS award was presented by Col. Dunn to Adriona Veralas. The U.S. Army Warrant Officer Association awards were presented by retired Chief Warrant Officer David Torres. The gold medal was presented to Andrea Poyorena and the silver medal was give to Chris Desilvera commended on their hard work and dedication to their unit. Their bronze medal went to Andria Martin and the copper medal to Khylee Jones.

The cadet who will be attending Wentworth Military Academy in the fall is Daelynn Dabney with a full ride scholarship. She also received the Military Officers of America, Santa Cruz Chapter, Ana Kalina Memorial Scholarship for her “superb academic standing and unconditional of loyalty to JROTC, Ripon High School and country as well as exceptional potential for military leadership, ” presented by Janet Freeman.

The American Legion Leadership Excellence Award and Academic Excellence Awards were presented by Commander Ken Lawson. The Leadership Excellence Award went to Michael Fisher and the Academic Excellence Award to Mireya Garcia.

Other awards were presented to the cadets from the National Sojourners, to Marissa Regalo; the U.S. Recruiting Command Award to Orion Johnson and Ashley Hovis; the Army Reserve National Scholar Athlete Award to Michael Fisher and Marissa Regalo; The Daughters of the American Revolution Award to Kaitlyn Phillips; Daughters of the American Colonists Award to Kenny Hitchcock; The Daughters of the American Revolution Award to Kaitlyn Phillips; The Military Officers of the American Association for Leadership Excellence to Ally Van Horn; Sons of the American Revolution Award to Mireya Tavison; Oakland Scottish Rite Award to Mireya Grcia; and The Association of the U.S. Army Award to Sarah Hall. 

The Association of the US Army Award went to Sarah Hall. The Superior Cadet Award went to cadets in the four grade levels, Seneca Rubianes, Nick Gagnon, Ashley Hovis and Nathaniel Gagnon. The Col. Edwin F. Flint Superior Cadet Award went to students for four years of dedication to leadership, academics, drill, athletics and community service from the lowest to the highest levels of command and staff in support of the community of Ripon, Ripon High School and the Army JROTC Program

Receiving the prestigious award were Cadets Nathaniel Gagnon, Sarah Hall, Kaitlyn Phillips, Wesley Mohler and Mireya Tavizon. 

The evening ended with a slide show following the year’s activities including national competitions where the Indian Battalion came home with superior ratings.