Col. Mike Whitehurst, the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor, introduced Assistant Principal Mr. Gemzik and SouthWest Edgecombe Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps team Chief Master Sergeant Emanuel Williams, a 12 year veteran.
Despite a 90 percent budget cut, the SouthWest Edgecombe High School JROTC program is the largest in Eastern North Carolina. It has 257 cadets, over one fourth of the School’s enrollment. For the eighth consecutive year, this Air Force JROTC has been awarded a “Distinguished Unit,” the highest Air Force rating. This places their JROTC team in the top 10% of all programs worldwide.
Guest Marine Corporal Amber Moore was introduced as a graduate of the SouthWest Edgecombe High School AFROTC program. She was awarded the Purple Heart in November 2005 for injuries in combat while serving in Iraq.
Guest Cecil Long was the first SouthWest Edgecombe principal. As Edgecombe County Assistant Superintendent, he and Superintendent Lee Hall started JROTC at SouthWest Edgecombe.
NATIONAL AWARDS: After each Cadet’s name is the award title and reasons for being chosen:
1. Cadet Austin Pierce; Air Force Sergeants Association Award; possesses positive attitude, outstanding personal attributes, include personal appearance, courageous demeanor, growth potential.
2. Cadet Melanie Stanfield; American Veterans Recognition Award; possessed a positive attitude toward Air Force JROTC and US Air Force, demonstrated initiative, dependability, judgment and self-confidence.
3. Cadet Chase Gardner; Order of the Daedalians; demonstrated an appreciation of patriotism, love of country and service;
4. Cadet James Keel; American Legion for Military Excellence Award; demonstrated outstanding qualities in military leadership, discipline, character, citizenship. 5. Cadet Zachary Webb; American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award; ranked in top 25 percent of his JROTC class, demonstrated leadership qualities, actively participated in student activities.
6. Cadet Allison Lynn; Daughters of the American Revolution Award; ranked top in her JROTC class, demonstrated qualities of dependability and good character; presented by guest Dee Long (Mrs. Cecil Long), a DAR Micajah Pettaway Chapter member
7. Cadet Hailey Keel; Military Officers Association of America Award; showed exceptional potential for military leadership.
8.Cadet Kayla Varnell; National Soujourner’s Award; demonstrated patriotism and potential for outstanding leadership.
9. Cadet Zachary Kinnin; Sons of the American Revolution Award; exhibited high degree of leadership, military bearing, all-around excellence in Aerospace Studies.
10. Cadet Joshua Davis; Reserve Officer’s Association Award; demonstrated dedication to citizenship, knowledge of civic responsibility, military orientation, self-discipline, sound work ethic.
11. Cadet Tevin Johnson; Celebrate Freedom Foundation JROTC Award; possessed a positive attitude, outstanding personal appearance, courteous demeanor, high personal and ethical standards.
12. Cadets Katlyn Page and Victoria Moore; actively engaged in AFJROTC, possessed outstanding military bearing, patriotism and leadership potential;
13. Cadets Devin Perry and Kayla Rouse; best exemplified the traits of patriotism, commitment to good citizenship, service to unit, community, country.
14. Cadet Brandon Moore; Sons of the Union of the Civil War; displayed high degree of patriotism to his nation, demonstrated high degree of leadership;
15. Cadet Zachary Pierce; Air Force Association Award; possessed a positive attitude, has outstanding personal attributes, to include outstanding personal appearance, courageous demeanor and growth potential.
16. Cadets Faith Keel and Bethany Barnes; Air Commando Association Award; demonstrated sustained superior performance in cadet corps while exemplifying the critical attributes of success that distinguish an elite Air Force Special Operations Command Air Commando.
17. Cadet Ciara Bryant; Military Order of the Purple Heart by National Order of Purple Heart; had positive attitude toward Air Force JROTC and the country.
18. Cadets Blake Steadman and Brandon Howlett; Tuskegee Airman AFJROTC Award; demonstrated outstanding achievement and exceptional leadership ability.
19. Cadets.Dylan Poage, Edward Hays, George Armstrong, Alex Norville; AFJROTC Superior Performance Medal;
20. Cadets Ethan Strickland and Jacob Strickland; Distinguished Cadet Badge