By Dominique Mack
Members of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University’s (FAMUs), Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Rattler Battalion and Naval ROTC Program gathered for their annual joint Spring Awards ceremony on April 7.
The event recognized outstanding achievements by cadets and midshipmen. Award recipients received plaques and certificates for demonstrating outstanding qualities of achievement in the areas of leadership, scholastics, and community service.
Army ROTC Professor of Military Science, LTC Edwin H. Escobar delivered the welcome and thanked several staff members for their tremendous support in spearheading the event.
“Today’s event is a celebration. Those who are being honored here are doing inspirational work and have proven their capability of leadership,” Escobar said.
Col. Clarke D. Henderson, commanding officer of FAMU’s Navy ROTC Program expressed his gratitude as well and acknowledged students for their hard work and service to their nation.
“This event is significant because it recognizes the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our cadets and midshipmen,” said Henderson. “It’s absolutely appropriate to recognize their effort.”
The ceremony took place in the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences Florida Blue Auditorium. Several students, veterans, and supporters were in attendance.
“The Army and Navy cadre staffs are very proud when our students are recognized for high leadership and academic performance. These awards provide extra incentive to stay focused and work hard to achieve your goals,” Henderson said.
A total of 24 awards were given out to 56 students, including the Chief of Naval Operations Distinguish Midshipmen Graduate Award and the Brigadier General Michael L. Ferguson Outstanding Cadet Award.
Cadet Commander Curtis Pugh was the recipient of this year’s Brigadier General Michael L. Ferguson Outstanding Cadet Award, and Midshipman Stanley Linton received the Chief of Naval Operations Distinguished Midshipmen Graduate Award.
The distinguished awards were awarded to the naval midshipman and Army ROTC cadet who exemplified the highest standards of leadership, academic, and military performance.
“Documenting outstanding individual performance through awards raises the performance of all our students and they will be better junior officers when they enter the operational forces after graduation,” Henderson said.
It is mandated for ROTC students to complete the requirements for regular college course work, as well as 20 hours of naval and military science classes before their graduation and officer commissioning. Midshipmen and cadets also complete weekly physical fitness activities and volunteer work during the semester.
The ROTC program prepares students for commissioning as officers in the Armed Forces. The program provides cadets with the knowledge and leadership skills that will help them become effective leaders.
“We are proud and confident in the ability of our future leaders to thrive in ambiguity and lead the forces defending our freedoms in an increasingly complex world,” Escobar said.