|Master Sgt. Frank Puebla addresses the assembly with Cadet Corps in the background.|
(Photos by Joe Quinn)
That was the scene at Paloma Valley High School last Friday evening, May 10, when the school's Navy Junior ROTC conducted its annual Awards Night honoring the members of the 163 Cadet strong Company.
Master Sergeant Frank Puebla, Leader of the Cadet Corps, announced that the program has grown in size and in stature to the point that in the next school year, the Paloma program will be raised to Battalion status from its current Company designation.
Many Veterans were in attendance, including a contingent from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1956 and the Marine Corps League. Yamillet L. Martinez, an active duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, attended as part of the VFW team. Ed Wiggs represented the Marine Corps League. Some remarked that the evening increased their faith in the youth of today and confidence that the United States continues to produce young leaders that would "stand the wall" in our times of need.
The Cadet Corps is supported in spirit and by awards from many local patriotic organizations, including the VFW, Marine Corps League and Daughters of the American Revolution, among others. Commander Pete Maroosis of the VFW Post addressed the assembly and made the presentation of the VFW Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement and Leadership. Petty Officer Kenneth Limerick, the Post 1956 Adjutant, assisted with the presentation.
In order to be recognized by the VFW, the winning Cadet must have shown strong personal attributes consistent with military requirements such as self confidence and judgment skills while constantly demonstrating initiative and flexibility. The award also recognizes the individual's patriotism, command capability and military skills while showing a consistent potential for advancement.
A successful grade point average in the NJROTC class work and in all school subjects is also required. In other words, this Cadet had to be well above average while maintaining and demonstrating all the attitudes and abilities consistent with military life and leadership.
The recipient of the award for the 2012/2013 school year was Cadet and 5th Platoon, 3rd Squad Leader Bernard Marshall. VFW Senior Vice Commander Joe Quinn had the chance to meet Cadet Marshall and his family after the presentation and walked away impressed by what he saw.
"Cadet Marshall has ambitions past the Cadet Corps and expects to be serving our country in the future, most likely in the Marine Corps or the Navy," Quinn said. "If he is an example of the Cadet Corps, Master Sgt. Puebla and the school administration can feel a sense of pride in what has been achieved."
Cadet Marshall's father is a recent Navy retiree after 20-plus years of active duty. Both father and mother expressed the pride they have in their son. Cadet Marshall will enter his senior year in the fall.
|VFW Awardee Bernard Marshall with his parents.|
|VFW Commander Peter Maroosis prepares to present an award to Cadet Justin Rucker with assistance of the Cadet Company Executive Officer.|