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James Clemens JROTC recognized

Principal Dr. Brian Clayton, at right, congratulates each grade's top academic cadets in James Clemens High School JROTC at their Awards Night. Top cadets are freshman Jessica Whigham, from left, sophomore Matthew Myers, junior Lauren Brashear and senior Frank Herring. (CONTRIBUTED)
Principal Dr. Brian Clayton, at right, congratulates each grade’s top academic cadets in James Clemens High School JROTC at their Awards Night. Top cadets are freshman Jessica Whigham, from left, sophomore Matthew Myers, junior Lauren Brashear and senior Frank Herring. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Junior ROTC Students at James Clemens High School were commended at their annual Awards Night on May 9.

During the 2014-2015 school year, James Clemens JROTC “grew from 96 to 114 cadets. The program not only grew in size and structure but also in skills ability,” retired Col. Courtney Taylor said.

Taylor and retired Sgt. Maj. Samuel McCray instruct JROTC at James Clemens.

Among 11 competing schools, the Jet Battalion earned a first-place finish for color guard in the Redstone Arsenal Sergeant Majors Association drill competition and second place in two competitions that Sparkman JROTC sponsored.

The PT (Physical Training) Team took second place in Athens High School Jingle Bell Jog 5K. The Jet Battalion earned the “Hooah Award” at Redstone Arsenal JROTC Day as the most spirited unit at the daylong field trip.

The marksmanship team also competed.

Taylor and McCray said they were “highly pleased” with gains in leadership, skills development and discipline and look forward to continued improvements while making young people better citizens.

At the ceremony, cadets Nicholas Sommer, Matthew Myers, Tristin Guy and Milind Patel earned the JROTC Superior Cadet award. Michael Charette, Matthew Fagg, Aubrey Kirkland, Andrew Lemley and Kerry Tuck earned the Distinguished Cadet Award.

Organizations presenting awards included 101st Airborne Division Association, Army Aviation Association, Association of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps League, Military Officers Association of America, Military Order of World Wars, U.S. Army Sergeants Major Association, Alabama Army National Guard, U.S. Army Recruiting Command and U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Command.

In addition, American Legion Post 229, Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 5162, National Sojourners Organization, Daughters of 1812, Daughters of the American Revolution (Maple Hill) and Huntsville Scottish Rite Bodies also participated in the ceremony.

The U.S. Army Materiel Command quintet played patriotic hymns, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “The Army Song.”

A post-ceremony reception included a JROTC-themed cake, fruit and other refreshments.

Taylor acknowledged JROTC Boosters Jean Downs, Keri Sutton, Sheri Fry and Sarah White “who helped immensely with the awards ceremony.”

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