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Air Force JROTC Students Recognized Nationally

Five of this semester's cadet leaders at Parkwood High School with their award recently received from Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, recognizing them on a national level for their accomplishments. Pictured from left, are Cadet First Lieutenant Josh Harold, junior; Cadet First Lieutenant Brianna Zike, junior; Cadet Major Elizabeth Cady (Commander), senior; Cadet Captain Lucas Wyszumiala, junior; and Cadet First Lieutenant Michael Watts, junior.

Two Union County Public Schools Air Force JROTC units took national honors recently, earning the Distinguished Unit Award, the highest possible award from Headquarters Air Force Junior ROTC for 2010-2011. 

Units NC-20067 at Parkwood High School and NC-955 at Piedmont High School "performed above and beyond normal expectations and distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force Junior ROTC mission of producing better citizens for America," said Col. Debra F. Bean, Air Force Junior ROTC Director from Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.

Because Parkwood’s unit earned an overall rating of “Exceeds Standards” on its external unit evaluation in March, it was one of 208 units to receive the 2010-2011 Air Force Junior ROTC Distinguished Unit with Merit Award.
"The Distinguished Unit Award (DUA) with Merit recognizes the personal growth and accomplishments of the cadets, the contributions of the instructors as mentors of the cadets, and the support of the school and community," Bean said. "It also goes to only those units that earned the highest rating of 'Exceeds Standards.' The Distinguished Unit Award with Merit is limited to the best of the best of our nation’s 884 Air Force Junior ROTC units."
Lt Col. Eric Kelly, the Parkwood High School Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, said he is very proud of the students' accomplishments. "This is our fourth consecutive DUA and a testament to the strong cadet leadership and motivation we've seen this year," he said.
Piedmont’s unit, which was not scheduled for an external evaluation this year, includes students from Piedmont and Porter Ridge High Schools, and was one of 196 units that earned the Distinguished Unit Award. 
The objectives of the Junior ROTC program are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill responsibility, character, and self-discipline through character education, and to provide instruction in air and space fundamentals.  Enrollment is open to all young people who are in the ninth grade or higher, physically fit, and are citizens or nationals of the United States.
Air Force Junior ROTC is located in 884 high schools across the United States and at selected schools in Europe, in the Pacific and Puerto Rico.  Junior ROTC enrollment includes more than 117,000 cadets.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Edited by: Regina Snelson
Posted: May 26, 2011 by Regina Snelson

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