UNION COUNTY — The Union County High School JROTC Yellow Jacket Battalion held its annual awards day ceremony on April 25 to recognize cadets for outstanding performance throughout the year.
Parents who have volunteered to help with various battalion events were recognized first. Certificates were presented by the Battalion Commander, C/LTC Ollie Burns, to Mrs. Paula Wright, Mr. Keith Wright, Ms. Tommy McKelvey, Mr. Eddie Edwards, Mrs. Lynn Edwards, Mr. Randall Burns, Mrs. Deanna Burns, Ms. Kristy Scott, Mr. Andy Fowler, Mrs. Pam Fowler, Mr. Scott Hartley, and Mrs. Lisa Hartley, and Mrs. Sandra Sigmon.
Mr. Henry Turner presented GNCC Big Buck T-shirts to cadets who participated in the color guard at the Grand National Cross Country Championships: C/LTC Ollie Burns, C/CPT Avery Hyatt, C/1LT Hannah Hartley, C/1LT Alana Wright, C/1LT Michael Leigh, C/ SFC Hailey Sherbert, C/SFC Andre Jeter, C/CPL Devin Ivey, C/PFC Austin Keatley, and C/PFC Ricky White.
C/PFC Ricky White was the Outstanding Color Guard member.
C/PFC Austin Keatley was the Outstanding Drill Team member.
C/PFC Toni Teal was the Best Drill Cadet.
C/SSG Cole Sigmon was the Outstanding Rifle Team member.
Physical Fitness Awards were presented to the top five male and female cadets in Cadet Challenge. Males were C/SSG Quan Neal, C/CPT Lucas Kelley, C/SFC Brandon Copeland, C/FSG Ronnie Woodruff, and C/SGT Tayshon Smith. Females were C/1LT Hannah Hartley, C/SSG Satardra Hall, C/PFC Jessica Sowers, C/ Amber Homan, and C/SGT Kayleigh Duckett. As the number one finishers, Quan Neal and Hannah Hartley will have their names engraved on a plaque in the JROTC hallway.
C/FSG Justin Dudley was the Outstanding Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer.
C/2LT Mitchell Ward was the Outstanding Cadet Officer.
SFC(R) Franklin McCullough presented the Army Instructor Leadership Development Ribbon to C/PFC Brian Best, C/PFC Alex Childers, C/ Cristopher Howell, C/PFC Jessica Sowers, S/PFC Les Wentz, C/PFC Christian Steele, C/ Spurgon Still, C/Kristina Truitt, C/PVT Ronnie Woodruff, C/PVT Justin Cudd, C/Amber Homan, C/PVT Jeb Jeter, C/PVT Grayson McAbee, C/Jeffery Spears, C/ Darius Gory, C/PFC Jeffery McDaniel, C/PVT Tyler Albrecht, C/PFC Taylor Lee, C/PVT Bradley Scott, C/SGT Jesse Belue, C/SSG Denise Cipriano, C/PFC Jeremy Fulgham, C/PVT Judson Lawson, C/PVT Trenton Wright, C/CPL Tyrin Briggs, C/CPL Cole Davis, C/SGT Dalton Johnson, C/CPL Kris Lewis, C/PFC Da’Anna Rodriguez, C/ Will Sherfield, C/PFC Shemar Moore, C/PFC Darius Washington, C/PFC Rashawn Washington, C/SGT Tayshon Smith, and C/CPL Cathryn Young.
Colonel (R) John Odell presented the Senior Army Instructor Leadership Development Ribbon to C/2LT Ethan Pendleton, C/SSG Shameek White, C/SSG Cole Sigmon, C/CPL Kayleigh Duckett, C/SGT Satardra Hall, C/CPL Noah Morris, C/CPL Taylor Shope. C/SSG Quan Neal, C/CPL Tatiana Ferguson, and C/CPL Devin Ivey.
C/PFC Gino Ferguson received the Army Instructor Award.
C/1LT Michael Leigh received the Senior Army Instructor Award.
The Military Service Award was presented to C/SSG Nick Garrison.
C/SFC Hailey Sherbert won the JROTC Essay Contest.
Mr. Floyd Lyles, Principal of Union County High School, presented the following awards: Academic Excellence to (LET 4) C/LTC Ollie Burns, (LET 3) C/FSG Detric Means, (LET 2) C/SFC Brandon Copeland, and (LET 1) C/CPL Caitlin Grant. C/PFC Dalen White who had the highest grades in JROTC for the year won the district award for academic excellence.
The West Point Association Leadership Award was presented to C/FSG Detric Means.
C/FSG Justin Dudley received the Military Officers Association of America Award.
Mrs. Gloria Northern presented The American Legion Post 22 Auxiliary Award for Military Excellence to C/SFC Hailey Sherbert and the American Legion Post 22 Auxiliary Award for Scholastic Excellence to C/SFC Nicole Fowler.
The American Legion Post 22 Award for Military Excellence was presented to C/ SFC Andre Jeter and the American Legion Post 22 Award for Scholastic Excellence to C/SFC Brandon Copeland.
Mr. Freddie Thompson presented the National Sojourner’s Award to C/1LT Hannah Hartley, the Military Order of World Wars Award to C/CPT Kayce Edwards, and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award to C/CPT Avery Hyatt.
Mrs. Margaret McCarley presented the Daughters of the American Revolution Award to C/LTC Ollie Burns.
Mr. Don Wilder presented the Sons of the American Revolution Award to C/MAJ Andrew McGee
Department of the Army Superior Cadet Awards were presented by SFC (R) Franklin McCullough to LET 1-C/PFC Francisco Ramirez, LET 2-C/SFC Brandon Copeland, LET 3-C/1LT Alana Wright, and LET 4-C/FSG Bethany Cromer.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Cadet Michael Leigh was promoted to the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel by Mr. Billy Sanders and Mr. Matthew Chastain. Following his promotion, C/LTC Leigh assumed command of the battalion vice the outgoing commander C/LTC Ollie Burns.