The National Society Sons of the American Revolution is pleased to announce the NSSAR JROTC Outstanding Cadets for 2000. This is the third publication of this annual recognition of Outstanding Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Cadets. Each of these 14 Cadets was selected by their sponsoring State Society and local Chapter as outstanding young citizens of their community, with high academic achievement, strong leadership skills and military bearing.
JROTC Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas J. Downing of the 11th Army JROTC Battalion, Wuerzburg American High School, Wuerzburg, Germany was selected as the Outstanding Cadet in the nation by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR) on May 17, 2000. John C. Haughton, Chairman of the NSSAR JROTC/ROTC Committee, presented Cadet Downing with a gold medallion as Commander of the 2000 Honor Legion Class and the NSSAR President General, Howard F. Horn, Jr., presented a certificate of recognition and $1,000 award at the NSSAR National Congress in Boston, MA in June.
The son of Senior Master Sergeant Russell L. and Kyong I. Downing (USAF), Cadet Downing was a junior at Wuerzburg High and was runner-up in the competition last year. NSSAR first authorized the awarding of Bronze JROTC medals to outstanding cadets in 1965. In 1997 the President General of the organization announced an enhanced JROTC recognition program that included awards at the state and national level. Cadet Downing competed against 13 other Outstanding Cadets selected and sponsored by their State Societies. In order to include cadets in JROTC units in overseas Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DODDS), the National Society's JROTC/ROTC Committee sponsors the cadet in lieu of a State Society. Captain Dennis J. Hickey IV, USNR (Ret.) is the Committee's liaison to DODDS.
Cadets are nominated by the Senior Military Science Instructor of the JROTC unit. Cadet Downing was nominated by CW4 (R) Douglas M. Rudd, the Senior Army Instructor at Wuerzburg American High School. Cadets are recognized for having a high degree of merit with respect to leadership qualities, military bearing and general excellence. In his letter of recommendation, Charlie Toth, Principal of Wuerzburg High, noted that Cadet Downing had a grade point average of 4.143 "in spite of taking the most academically challenging courses this school has to offer." CW4 Rudd notes that as a result of Cadet Downing's strong leadership the JROTC battalion was designated as an "Honor Unit with Distinction." He further notes that Cadet Downing was a Varsity Letterman in the Rifle, Drill and Tennis teams and is a First Degree Black Belt, certified by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation. Downing was Secretary of his 9th grade class and 10th grade Class President. He is a member of the National Honor Society and participates in the Military Community Youth Ministries, Club Beyond and was a Sunday School teacher.
In addition to competing on the basis of leadership and general excellence, each candidate for state or national awards must complete an essay. The topic for this year's essay was "How JROTC has prepared me to be a better citizen of the United States." In his essay Cadet Downing wrote: "JROTC offers cadets like myself the opportunity to prepare for our future roles as responsible citizens, while upholding the ideals and virtues that make America great." He also stated, "The pride I take in wearing my uniform, taking care of the cadets under my command, and working with the local community has taught me what it means to be a true citizen."
Cadet Downing was slated to be the Commander of the 11th Army JROTC Battalion at Wuerzburg during his senior year. However, as often happens to military sons and daughters, Cadet Downing's father received orders to Fort Lewis in Washington State. Nicholas has joined the Air Force JROTC unit at Clover Park High School, Lakewood WA. After High School, Nicholas hopes to receive an appointment to the US Air Force Academy. Cadet Downing later hopes to become an Air Force Chaplain.
Outstanding JROTC Cadet Major Nicholas J. Downing of the Wuerzburg American High School of Wuerzburg, Germany, wearing the Gold JROTC Medalion, receives his certificate from President General Howard F. Horn, Jr. JROTC Chairman, Jack Haughton holds a check for $1,000, also to be presented to Cadet Major Downing.
The NSSAR Outstanding Cadet of the Nation for 2000 is:
JROTC Cadet Major Nicholas J. Downing of the Wuerzburg American High School of Wuerzburg, Germany
sponsors: National Society SAR, JROTC Committee
2001 Update on Nicholas J. Downing: "I am pleased to report that God has continued to bless my life. Since joining the 931st Air Force JROTC Warrior Wing at Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Washington, I have worked my way back into command. At the beginning of the second semester in January, I was selected to serve as Cadet Wing Commander, placing me in command of the 315 cadets here at CPHS. In fact, I am actually now in charge of twice as many cadets now as I would have been if I'd stayed in command of the 11th US Army JROTC Battalion in Germany. I am also happy to report that in October, I received a rare early acceptance letter to the United States Air Force Academy. I will begin Basic Cadet Training on June 28th, two weeks after I graduate with honors from Clover Park High School. I plan to major in American and Military History and will attend Pilot Training school after graduation. I hope to someday fly the A-10 Thunderbolt aka Warthog. God willing, I hope to become the first person in Air Force history to graduate from the Academy with parachute wings, earn flying wings as a pilot, and eventually wear the cross insignia of an Air Force chaplain. Good luck with everything and God bless!"
C/Lt. Col Nick Downing
2002 Update on Nicholas J. Downing: Nicholas is now attending the United States Air Force Academy. As a freshman, he is busy with basics; however, since he grew up as the son of an Air Force service man, Nicholas is doing well. He still plans to major in American and Military History, attend Pilot Training School after graduation, and later, become an Air Force Chaplain.
JROTC Cadet Captain Roman Edmunds
Oliver High School, Pittsburgh, PA
sponsors: Pittsburgh Chapter and the Pennsylvania Society
NJROTC Cadet Ensign Seth Lawson
Fulton High School, Knoxville, TN
sponsors: Stephen Holston Chapter and the Tennessee Society
JROTC Cadet 1st Lieutenant Jennifer B. Allen
Anson High School, Wadesboro, NC
sponsors: Raleigh Chapter and the North Carolina Society
JROTC Cadet Ensign Jonathan Garfield
East Hall High School, Gainesville, GA
sponsors: Lyman Hall Chapter and the Georgia Society
NJROTC Cadet Captain Jeffery M. Harrop
North Central High School, Kershaw, SC
sponsors: General Thomas Sumter Chapter and the South Carolina Society
AFJROTC Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Justin Holeman
Coventry High School, Akron, OH
sponsors: Lafayette Chapter and the Ohio Society
JROTC Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Rashid Khalife
Robert E. Lee High School, San Antonio, TX
sponsors: San Antonio Chapter and the Texas Society
JROTC Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Marilyn J. Novell
Fieldale-Collinsville High School, Collinsville, VA
sponsors: Colonel George Waller Chapter and the Virginia Society
JROTC Cadet Captain Tia M. Poulin
Nokomis Regional High School, Newport, ME
sponsors: the Maine Society
AFJROTC Cadet 1st Lieutenant Charity E. Ragin
Clover Park High School, Lakewood, WA
sponsors: Alexander Hamilton Chapter and the Washington Society
MCJROTC Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Brandon Schexnayder
Jesuit High School, New Orleans, LA
sponsors: George Washington Chapter and the Louisiana Society
JROTC Cadet Captain Justin Taylor
Crescent City High School, Crescent City, FL
sponsors: St. Augustine Chapter and the Florida Society
JROTC Cadet 1st Lieutenant Paul L. Terrell, Jr.
Walker High School, Jasper, AL
sponsors: Warrior River Chapter and Alabama Society