The Daniel Boone High School Marine Corps JROTC has been a part of of the school’s legacy for more than 40 years.
During that time, the program has received a bevy of awards and recognitions.
Daniel Boone’s JROTC program was recently selected as the recipient of the prestigious Marine Corps Reserve Association Award for the eight-state region of the southeast, distinguishing the program as one of the top six Marine Corps JROTC programs in the nation.
“That just makes everyone in the program feel amazing that you’re part of something that’s decorated in such a way out of everybody else in the country. It makes you feel good about what you do,” Cadet 2nd Lt. Jared Gardner said.
This is the second time in three years Daniel Boone’s JROTC has recieved the award, which is a fairly uncommon thing for a program to be selected multiple times, according to Senior Marine Instructor Maj. Steve Sessis.
“We’re obviously proud of that and it’s a feather in the cap for the cadets,” he said.
In addition to receiving the MCRA award, Cadet Capt. Summer Donald was named the recipient of the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement, which designates her as the top cadet in the southeast region.
It’s an incredible honor that hasn’t really sunk in yet, Donald said.
“To learn that I’m now one of the top six Marine Corps cadets in the nation, it just hasn’t really registered yet. I’m on cloud 10,” she said.
Donald is the second Legion of Valor recipient in the history of Daniel Boone’s JROTC program.
Criteria for the MCRA award is based on a variety of aspects, including annual inspection scores, academics, cadet involvement in the school and community service.
The Legion of Valor award is awarded based on a cadet’s academic excellence, leadership potential and service to the school, community and nation.
Sessis said the program’s success would not have happened if it weren’t for the continued support from the school system itself.
“We get tremendous support from the school system and in particular from the principal and the administration here at this school, and you really can’t be a success without it,” he said.
Sessis said having a school system that both promotes the program and celebrates its students spurs the dedication of cadets.
“Without their dedication, we couldn’t be anywhere near as successful. It takes a team effort, and the beauty of this program is that it builds teamwork and it creates leaders,” he said.