Coins for Cadets

Front and reverse sides of coin. (Photos by Peggy McGee)

Front and reverse sides of coin. (Photos by Peggy McGee)

Peggy McGee

Every year, the Green Valley Chapter Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), Green Valley Chapter, awards scholarships to graduating cadets from Sahuarita, Walden Grove, Rio Rico and Nogales High Schools and recognizes outstanding cadets at the end of each academic year. Despite the many challenges they have faced this year, and after a slow start, the cadets learned a lot and participated in competitive activities as much as possible during the school year. The cadets were awarded specially designed coins in recognition of their achievements.

All seven cadets receiving recognition excelled in unarmed drill (creative routines performed in a military manner with precision and sharpness), academic team (competed on service-specific military science topics), orienteering (navigational skills), raiders (rigorous physical training), and color guard (presentation of colors).

Each year, one member from each of the first three years of the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and all four years for the Army JROTC are recognized for their overall academic performance, drill precision, military bearing, and leadership abilities. Because of COVID restrictions, there were no large public gatherings to honor these outstanding students.

In a private ceremony, MOAA JROTC Liaison Air Force Colonel Marianne Rogers Faust along with Commander Brad Roberson, Senior Naval Science Instructor at Sahuarita High School presented the coins to the three outstanding cadets in the JROTC unit at Sahuarita High School. Awardees included: Freshman Isabella Sizer; Sophomore Shayla Blair; and Junior Caleb Forehand.

Quail Creek residents COL Marianne Rogers Faust and 1LT Elliott Jones represented MOAA at Rio Rico High School for the Army JROTC. They presented MOAA coins to the outstanding cadet in each academic year. Those cadets were Eduardo Ramos, 4th year; Jorge Garcia, 3rd year; Emiliya Caballero, 2nd year; and Kimberly Pimienta, 1st year.

These outstanding teens are self-disciplined and set the example for other youth to follow, showing respect for authority and love of country at all times.

Unfortunately, because of COVID restrictions, the Air Force JROTC unit at Nogales High School was not able to have any type of competitive events during the 2020-21 school year.

The MOAA Chapter is taking a summer break. They will open the fall season with a luncheon at Quail Creek on Sept. 14.