On Sept. 8, The Union County High School JROTC Yellow Jacket Battalion conducted its annual fall commissioning ceremony.
In this highly prestigious celebration of excellence, exceptional and well-rounded non-commissioned officers are commissioned to officer rank and current officers are promoted.
Our guest speaker was Master Sgt. (retired) Stan Gallman. Mr. Gallman began as a Staff Sergeant at Union and served in the 1st Battalion-118th Mechanized Infantry. He has been deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait and was promoted to Master Sergeant. He was the Brigade S-4 at Fort Jackson prior to his retirement. He is married to Mrs. Karen Gallman. Mrs. Gallman served as chaperone for this past summer’s Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge at Fort Jackson. Retired Master Sergeant Stan Gallman talked to the young men and women about the importance of an education for advancement in any field of endeavor. He also spoke about the importance of physical fitness to one’s well-being. He encouraged cadets to prepare for the future at this young age.
One current cadet officer was promoted.
Michael Dylan McNeace is a senior. This is his fourth year in JROTC. He is a member of and has participated in the Jedi Knights, Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, the Spanish Club, Beta Club, and National Technical Honor Society. He is a recipient of the American Legion Award for Academic Excellence, Superior Cadet Award, and the George C. Marshall Award. Dylan is an honor roll student, a graduate from Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge 2010 and Youth Leadership Union County. He was a member of the George C. Marshall Academic team that went to Washington, DC in 2010. This past year he attended Palmetto Boys State at Anderson University. After high school he plans to attend Clemson University and major in architectural engineering. This year Dylan will be the Battalion Executive Officer.
The following cadets were commissioned:
Timothy Chase Baldwin is a senior. This is his fourth year in JROTC. He is a member of the Jedi Knights service organization, the Military Ball Committee, Drill Team and Raider Team. He is the current Color Guard Commander. He is a three-time graduate of Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge, achieving the title of Honor Graduate this past summer. He is a two-year member of the French Club. He plans to attend college at USC-Upstate to study Nursing.
Taylor Brooke Cooper is a senior. This is her fourth year in JROTC. She has served as Company Commander and is now our Battalion S-1, or Adjutant. She is Captain of the Jedi Knights service learning organization; former Captain of the George C. Marshall Academic Team which placed 19th in the nation in 2010; secretary of the Military Ball Committee; and member of the Drill Team and Color Guard. Taylor also participated in Youth Leadership Union County and is a member of the Arthur State Bank Junior Board of Directors for a second year. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the secretary of the National Technical Honor Society. She was a Palmetto Girl’s State delegate this past summer. She plans to attend Converse College and major in Nursing.
Myia Shabrianna McClurkin is a senior. This is her fourth year in JROTC, where she participates in the Color Guard and is a former member of the George C. Marshall Academic Team. This is Myia’s fifth year as a percussionist in the UCHS Marching Band and Indoor Percussion and her fourth year in the UCHS Concert Band. She is the Treasurer of the National Technical Honor Society. She is also a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was selected as an alternate for Palmetto Girls’ State. She is a graduate of Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge and Youth Leadership Union County. Myia is the Battalion S-2, or Security Officer. After graduation she will attend Spartanburg Methodist College, majoring in Psychology, and later transferring to the College of Charleston.
Michael Jerod Stewart is a senior. This is his fourth year in JROTC. He has served as platoon sergeant, platoon leader, and first sergeant, and is currently the Charlie Company Commander. He was a member of the George C. Marshall Leadership Team 2010 which placed 11th overall at the Leadership Symposium. He is also a member of the Raider Team and Jedi Knights JROTC service learning organization. This summer, he attended the Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge, where he was named one of the Honor Cadets, which are the top five percent of the 900 who attended. He is also a member of the National Technical Honor Society and the Arthur State Bank Junior Board of Directors for a second year. Michael has been named a 2011-2012 USC-Union Junior Scholar of Excellence and 2011-2012 West Point Strong Leader Academy graduate. He intends to go to Miami University and major in Nuclear Engineering.
Ollie Virginia Burns is a junior. This is her third year in JROTC. She has served as Platoon Sergeant and First Sergeant and is currently the Battalion S-4, or Supply Clerk. In JROTC she has been a member of the Military Ball Committee, Jedi Knights, George C. Marshall Leadership Team, Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) (2010 and 2011), Color Guard, and Drill Team. She has been awarded the Superior Cadet award. This past summer at JCLC she graduated as an Honor Cadet and she also went to Washington, D.C. with the Leadership Team which placed second in the nation. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society. Ollie plans to go to the College of Charleston and major in Sociology.
Avery Spencer Hyatt is a junior. This is Avery’s third year in JROTC. He is company commander of Alpha Company. He was a George C. Marshall Academic Team Primary in 2010 and 2011. He has been a member of the raider team for two years. He and his partner placed third in the Daniel Morgan Raider Challenge in the male and female team category. He is also a member of Jedi Knights. This past summer he attended Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge at Fort Jackson. There he placed in the top five percent of 900 cadets and was an honor graduate. Avery is an A-B student. He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society. He has been a member of the FFA for two years and this year is FFA Sentinel. Avery plans to attend the University of South Carolina on an NROTC scholarship. He plans to major in Criminal Justice. After college he plans to serve in the United States Marine Corps and later on be a K-9 Officer.
Kaelyn Catherine Thomas is a junior. This is her third year in JROTC. She is the current commander of the JROTC Drill Team and is an active member of the JROTC Color Guard. She has been a member of the Jedi Knights community service organization in JROTC for two consecutive years. She is a graduate of the Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge for the past two summers. She is the current Company Commander of Bravo Company. She is also a member of the Union County High School Future Farmers of America, and the National Technical Honor Society. She looks forward to attending college to study Veterinary Science and get her doctorate degree.
Rebekah Kayce Edwards is a junior. She is a member of the National Technical Honor Society, Future Farmers of America, and is the Captain of the George C. Marshall Academic Team. Kayce is a member of the UCHS Varsity Soccer Team where she serves as goalie and is currently a guard member and a member of the UCHS Varsity Wrestling Team. Kayce plans to pursue a Naval ROTC Scholarship and attend the Citadel where she will major in Criminal Justice. After graduation from The Citadel, she plans to enter the United States Marines Corp as a Second Lieutenant and serve her country for the next 20 years.
Kelsey Leanne Ledford is a senior. This is her second year in JROTC. She is the Executive Officer for Alpha Company. She is President of the National Beta Club, and a member of the International Thespian Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spanish Club, and Interact. She is also on the Varsity cheerleading squad for the third consecutive year and also participates in the Winterguard. She plans to attend the University of Georgia with a major in Pre-Medicine and a possible minor in Psychology. She plans to continue ROTC through college and pursue a career in some form of military.