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AHS Air Force JROTC holds first awards banquet
ARLINGTON The Arlington High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program reflected on its first school year with an awards banquet May 11.
Jim Weiss, vice president of the Arlington School District Board of Directors, served as the guest speaker for the event, by looking back on his own enlistment in the Air Force, as well as the progress of bringing the Air Force JROTC program to AHS.
Aim high was the recruiting slogan that got me hooked, Weiss said. This program has taken off here at a maximum-angle climb. I embrace bringing in another outlet for our students, not all of whom are athletes or scholars. This has gotten off to a solid start. I owe a great deal to the Air Force for giving goals and convictions. We all owe thanks to Maj. Blue and Master Sgt. Moore, as well as to the cadets, because without you, there would be no program.
After a three-course dinner catered by the AHS culinary class students, AHS Air Force JROTC aerospace science instructors Maj. Mike Blue and Master Sgt. Al Moore introduced the cadets of Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta Companies, before awards were presented to the individual cadets.
Among the honorees, Cadet Jake Allen received the Outstanding Cadet Award, the American Veterans Award and the Leadership Award, the latter of which is presented to no more than 5 percent of the cadet population that has displayed outstanding positive personal attributes. Cadet Andy Baker also received the Leadership Award, as well as the Sons of Union Veterans of Civil War Award. Cadets Jerime Patao and Ben Redford received the Tuskegee Airmen Award, while Cadet Jolsen Martinez received the Military Order of World Wars Award, Cadet Eric Gray received the Reserve Officers Association Award, and Cadet Greg Brager received the Daughters of the American Revolution Award.
Baker, Brager, Gray and Patao were among the cadets to receive the Recruiting Award, for each recruiting at least one cadet into the Air Force JROTC program, along with Cadets Stuart Barbeau, Keith Bayer, Anthony Castaneda, Matthew Collins-Cole, Constance Dauz, David Dinero, Keller Holland, Alvin Moore, Deona Pineda, Stephen Sy and Rebecca Wadey. Allen, Baker, Bayer, Barbeau, Brager, Dinero, Gray and Martinez joined fellow Cadet Dan Miller in receiving the Academic Award, for attaining overall averages of B-grades, with A-grades in the Air Force JROTC program.
For distinctive performance in school community and Air Force JROTC service projects, the Service Award was presented to Barbeau, Brager, Collins-Cole, Martinez, Moore, Patao, Redford and Wadey, as well as fellow Cadet Christopher McAlvey. Allen, Dauz and Redford received the Superior Performance Award, which is presented to no more than 10 percent of the cadet population, while Cadet Nick Day joined Martinez in receiving the Achievement award, which is presented to no more than 5 percent of the cadets who display significant achievement.
Arlington School District Superintendent Linda Byrnes closed the ceremonies by presenting the Outstanding Flight Award to Charlie Flight, for excelling above the rest in the areas of academics, citizenship, teamwork, physical fitness and community involvement. Martinez held the flights guidon as Byrnes presented him with the tassel.