The NSSAR JROTC Outstanding Cadet Recognition program has completed its second year of activity and I am pleased to announce that interest, participation, feedback, and success continue to grow. We had more SAR State Societies participating and more JROTC Units nominating cadets for the award. Along with this interest in the contest, I am receiving feedback from the State Societies that more of our Compatriots are getting involved with JROTC Units in their area. The bottom line of this report is that the JROTC Recognition program is working and exceeding the expected levels of results.
The best part of this program, for me, is to be able to come to the National Congress and present to you the individual chosen by SAR to receive our Outstanding JROTC Cadet award for 1999. The distinguished young man next to me is Anthony B. Aguilar of Robert E. Lee High School, in San Antonio, Texas, sponsored by the San Antonio Chapter and the Texas Society.
His Senior Army Instructor, Col. Chaplinski tells us that Anthony has been an outstanding cadet since his first semester in the JROTC program. As a Freshman Anthony was selected to be part of the Unit's Varsity Drill Team, and Varsity Color Guard competition team. He now commands the Varsity Drill Team, the Orienteering Team, and Physical Fitness Team while continuing to participate in the activities of the Varsity Color Guard. He has demonstrated that he can handle all of the responsibilities of these extra-curricular activities and still maintain an "A" average in his academics, which consists of five Honor courses. While maintaining his place among the top 10% of his class academically, Anthony is also a member of PAL (Peer Assistant Leadership), National Honor Society, a member of the Varsity Cross-country Track Team, and works part-time on weekends. Anthony is a very involved young man. Anthony has just finished his junior year in High School, and if it is any indication of what is to come in his senior year, it will be fantastic. Last November, Anthony received the first Youth Heritage-Award from the Heroes and Heritage National Organization. This group recognizes Hispanic contributions to United States military, defense, intelligence and diplomacy. At this ceremony in Washington DC, Anthony also received a four year ROTC scholarship for the university of his choice. This award was presented personally by the Commanding General of the Army ROTC Cadet Command, Major General Wallace.
In April, Anthony received a scholarship and attended the “Freedom Foundation Leadership Conference” at Valley Forge, PA, presented by the Military Order of the World Wars. Since he had just finished his research for the NSSAR essay, he said that this trip had a significant impact on him. He had studied the words and deeds of George Washington, now he got the chance to walk in the General’s footsteps.
Anthony has been nominated to attend the US Military Academy, and the US Naval Academy. During this summer break from high school he has attended the Military Academy's Invitational Academic Workshop at West Point. He also attended the Naval Academy's Summer Seminar Program at Annapolis.
Oh yes, I hope that we have the beginnings of a trend, like our winner last year, at the end of the school year, Anthony received his promotion to Cadet Lt. Col. and Battalion Commander for the coming year.
Outstanding Cadet Anthony Aguilar, of San Antonio, Texas, wearing the Gold JROTC Medalion, receives his certificate from President General Russel Page. JROTC Chairman, Jack Haughton holds a check for $1,000, also to be presented to Cadet Aguilar.
2000 Update on Anthony Aguilar: Anthony served as Battalion Commander of his JROTC unit in 1999, graduating with Honors. During his Senior year Anthony received the following awards:
Outstanding JROTC Cadet, Northeast Independent School District, San Antonio, TX
The Principal's Award, for class of 2000, R. E. Lee High School
United States Marine Corps Outstanding Academic Scholar
Anthony has been accepted to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point. He has not yet selected a major course of study. Following High School graduation, Anthony will report to West Point to begin the Summer Orientation Program.
2001 Update on Anthony Aguilar: "At the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the cadet plebes have just been promoted to Private First Class. They are half way through the second semester of the fourth class year. It has been tough academically and Anthony's previous Jr. ROTC experience has served him well militarily. West Point is a very competitive, challenging place. The choices for majors will not occur until the Junior or second class year. Until then everyone is on the same curriculum. It has been the right choice for Anthony as he continues to dream of a full military career."
Victoria Aguilar Paparelli, Anthony's mother
2002 Update on Anthony Aguilar: "Anthony is enjoying West Point. Working very hard, but seems it is just the right fit for him. He is taking a field of study in German this year and spent Spring break in Ireland, just for pleasure. This summer is Airborne and Air Assault School and very little time off. Anthony is still a member of the drill team for USMA. Thank you for asking and keeping up with Anthony."
Victoria Aguilar Paparelli, Anthony's mother
The NSSAR Outstanding Cadet of the Nation for 1999 is:
Cadet Anthony Aguilar of R. E. Lee High School of San Antonio, TX
sponsors: San Antonio Chapter and the Texas Society
JROTC Cadet Captain Nicholas J. Downing
Wuerzburg American High School l, Wuerzburg, Germany
sponsors: NSSAR ROTC/JROTC Committee
NJROTC Cadet Lieutenant (J.G.) Diana L. Mutz
Cary High School, Cary, North Carolina
sponsors: Raleigh Chapter and the North Carolina Society
Special Honorable Mention:
NJROTC Cadet Ensign Justin Lee Carrano
Easley High School, Easley, SC
sponsors: General Andrew Pickens Chapter and the South Carolina Society
JROTC Cadet Battalion Command Sergeant Major Steven C. Carnley
Walker High School, Jasper, AL
sponsors: Black Warrior River Chapter and Alabama Society
AFJROTC Cadet Lt Col Chad W. Harris
Blue Springs High School, Blue Springs, MO
sponsors: Harry S. Truman Chapter and the Missouri Society
NJROTC Cadet Command Master Chief Petty Officer Corydon F. Heard, IV
Osbourn Park Senior High School, Manassas, VA
sponsors: Fairfax Resolves Chapter and the Virginia Society
AFJROTC Cadet Captain Casey A. Henry
Gulf Breeze High School, Gulf Breeze, FL
sponsors: Pensacola Chapter and the Florida Society
JROTC Cadet 1st Lieutenant James M. Smith
Lakeside High School, Evans, GA
sponsors: Col William Few Chapter and the Georgia Society
AFJROTC Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Silja E. Tolpi
Andrew Jackson Fundamental Magnet High School, Chalmette, LA
sponsors: George Washington Chapter and the Louisiana Society
AFJROTC Cadet Flight Commander Anthonelli White, Jr.
Scott County High School, Georgetown, KY
sponsors: Captain John Scott Chapter and the Kentucky Society
JROTC Cadet Sergeant First Class Chaney A. Woodring, III
United High School, Armagh, PA
sponsors: General Arthur St. Clair Chapter and the Pennsylvania Society