West Lincoln High School JROTC students who went above and beyond regular duties were honored Saturday at the Blue and Gold Ceremony.
â€œEvery program is the same way â€“ you have some that just take the class, then you have others where it almost becomes their whole life,â€ said Lt. Cmdr. Karl Jordan, an instructor.
Awards were given out at the 2 p.m. ceremony for participation in extracurricular activities, community service, physical fitness, personal appearance, conduct and academics.
â€œWe sat down and put a lot of thought into deciding who gets awards,â€ said Chief Bill Shipley, an instructor.
Outstanding, distinguished and honored cadets were also named at the ceremony.
â€œYou have a lot of good ones, but you canâ€™t give (awards) to everybody,â€ said Jordan.
The teachers found it most difficult to choose students for awards given by the Non-Commissioned Officers Association, Surface Navy Association, Military Order of World Wars, American Legion and the Scottish Rite Award, Southern Jurisdiction.
â€œThose are the tough ones,â€ said Shipley.
The ceremony included a speech given by Col. Harvey C. Barnum Jr., a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy of Reserve Affairs.
Government officials from the school board and city and county were also represented at the ceremony. Even so, the focus was placed on the students.
â€œItâ€™s their day to show off,â€ said Jordan.
Jordan and Shipley credit the students with building the schoolâ€™s fledging program, which is finishing up its second year.
So far this year the students have had their first formal military inspection, experienced life on a military vessel, gone on a ski trip and tripled the trophies they had been awarded last year.
This summer, the program will form a sailing team, which will hopefully be active on Lake Norman.
â€œThe summerâ€™s going to be just as big for us,â€ said Jordan.
The following students received the most prestigious awards at Saturdayâ€™s ceremony:
Non-Commissioned Officers Association â€“ William Scronce, Justin Westmoreland, Adam Patton, Meghan Johnson and Brian Sailors.
Scottish Rite Award, Southern Jurisdiction â€“ James Duckworth.
Surface Navy Association â€“ David Branton and Adam Owens.
Military Order of World Wars â€“ Jared Jordan.
American Legion, Military Excellence â€“ Gold â€“ Zack Moran and Silver â€“ Justin Campbell.
by Sarah Grano