ROTC celebrates outstanding year

Published 3:43 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets celebrated an outstanding year of awards and honors Tuesday night at Bainbridge College’s Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center.

The occasion was the 15th annual ROTC awards banquet.

During the 2008-2009 school year, under the direction of ROTC program director Col. Gary Breedlove and Senior Master Sgt. Frank Geslak, the program won its sixth annual distinguished unit award, and had its best drill team competition year ever.

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During the drill team season, they won three overall championships and two runners-up. They won trophies at all seven competitions they entered, including two national competitions.

Two cadets, Derrick Akins and Andrew Davidson, received scholarships to military schools. Akins will be attending the U.S. Military Academy prep school in Fort Momouth, N.J., and Davidson will be attending Georgia Military College.

Three cadets, Darren Good, Adam Anderson and Stephen Dunn, will be attending the Advanced Air Academy in Oshkosh, Wis., marking the fourth consecutive year at least two cadets have attended the academy. Cadet Tiffany Blocker will be attending the Air Force Honors Camp at the University of Oklahoma.

Blocker, Juarez and Good were named Cadet Corps Commanders for the 2009-20010 school year.

Blocker received the Distinguished Cadet Badge, one of the highest honors a cadet can receive.

Good received the Oak Murdock Patriot’s Award, named in honor and memory of a late former cadet who lost his life in an accident. Along with the award, presented by the late cadets parents, retired Lt. Col. Dan and Kathy Murdock, went a saber with Good’s name engraved on it. He also received the American Legion Military Excellence Award.

Blocker also won the Deadline Award and the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction Award.

Akins won the American Legion Scholastic Award and was named outstanding senior cadet with Cadet Jessica Merritt.

Outstanding first-, second- and third-year cadets were Tyler Pollock, Adam Anderson and Erick Juarez.

Pollock also received the Sons of the American Revolution Award and Anderson also received the American Veterans Award.

Georgia Army National Guard Minute Men Awards went to most improved ninth-grade cadet Christopher Campbell, most improved 10th-grade cadets Nadia Cerisier and Alex Higley, most improved 11th-grade cadet Elizabeth Hill and most improved 12th-grade cadet Gustavo Estala.

The Daughters of the American Revolution Award went to Jessica Merritt.

Other cadet honor winners included Bitisha Hamilton, who received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Award; Elizabeth Hill, who received the Air Force Sergeants Association Achievement Award; Stephen Dunn, who received the Air Force Sergeants Association Emerging Leader Award and the Embry Riddle Freedom Foundation Award; Alexander Shelton, who received the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Award, and Rebecca Schoeneman and Asilynne Strickland, who received Tuskeegee Airman Inc. Award.

Charles Screen received the Retired Enlisted Association Award and the National Sojourners Award, and Andrew Davidson received the Reserve Officers Association Award.

The Military Order of the World Wars Award went to Jessica Dunlap and the Military Officers Association of America Award went to Ryan Schoeneman. Gage Proper received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Award.