Citadel’s top ROTC cadets recognized for excellence

ROTC Awards Ceremony April 8, 2021, McAlister Field House

Photo above: ROTC cadets at The Citadel gather for the 2020-2021 awards ceremony in McAlister Field House on April 8, 2021.

The ROTC detachments at The Citadel provide cadets with leadership training, to prepare them to begin their military careers as officers after graduation. About 30% of each South Carolina Corps of Cadets graduating class earn commissions into all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Through the departments, which include Air Force/Space Force ROTC, Army ROTC, Marine Corps ROTC and Navy ROTC, The Citadel is one of the nation’s proven producers of top military leaders.

Annually, the departments nominate their finest cadets and active duty students for awards. The award recipients are normally honored as a group in McAlister Field House.

This year’s award winners are as follows:

Air Force Association Cadet Medal

Presented a junior cadet in recognition of outstanding achievement in leadership and academic standing in the Air Force ROTC.

Kathryn Christmas

American Legion Military Excellence Award

Presented to Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force cadets who have demonstrated military excellence.

Carson Adams – Army
Christian Seidler – Air Force
Regina Miles – Marine Corps
Ethan Powers – Navy

Cadet Regina Miles accepts and award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award

Presented to Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force cadets who have demonstrated scholastic excellence.

Matthew Wall – Army
Caleb Moseley – Air Force
Robert Clement – Marine Corps
Aaron Gilberto – Navy

American Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam Award

Presented to ROTC cadets for diligence, discharge of duty and willingness to serve God and country.

Harrison Hemminghaus – Army
Josiah Schainblatt – Air Force
Antonio Carbajal – Marine Corps
Logan Scronce- Navy

Cadet Harrison Hemminghouse is presented with an award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)

Recognizes ROTC students who have demonstrated good moral character, academic excellence and potential to serve as officers in the United States Armed Forces.

Josefino Lubang– Army
Harrison R. Martin– Air Force
Jennings Woods– Marine Corps
William M. Jensen–Navy

Association of the United States Army Award

Presented to the ROTC cadet who best exemplifies leadership, is in the 1op 10% for ROTC courses, and top 25% for all cadets academically.

Alex Hart

Association of the United States Army Military History Award

Presented to a cadet who has demonstrated a strong interest in and acumen regarding the study of military history. The award is a joint project of the Association of the U.S. Army, in conjunction with the US Army Center of Military History.

Nicholas Fricchione

AT&T Veterans University ROTC Leadership Award

Presented to ROTC cadets who have displayed the ability to solve problems outside the box by using innovative thinking and carrying it through to execution.

Hunter Mills – Army
Conor Deans – Air Force
Jeremy Walker – Marine Corps
Colin Gleco – Navy

Daughters of the American Revolution Award (DAR)

Presented to one outstanding cadet from each ROTC unit who demonstrates the qualities of dependability and good character, leadership ability and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

Allyson Ansell – Army
Noah Hammond – Navy
Samuel Poulin – Marine Corps
Isaac Al-Tamimi– Air Force

Chief of Naval Operations Distinguished Midshipmen Graduate Award

Honors one graduating midshipman at each NROTC Unit and midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy who demonstrate the highest standards of leadership, academic and military performance. 

Nick Piacentini

Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America Award

Recognizes outstanding upperclassmen who have demonstrated the qualities of leadership and high scholastic average, and who are highly active in student affairs.

Dante Rovere – Army
Tyler A Duben – Air Force
Ashley Coplo – Marine Corps
Alexandria Carter – Navy

Cadet Ashley Coplo accepts award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Department of the Army Superior Cadet Award

The Department of the Army provides this award annually to the outstanding ROTC cadet in each year of military science at The Citadel that is in the top 25 percent of their ROTC class and academic class.

Meth Ranaweera
Madelyn Wojciechowski
Jaret Price
William Rathke

Cadet Meth Ranaweera accepts an award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Major General Robert Frederick Leadership Award

Presented to a cadet who successfully graduates from the Leader Development and Assessment Course, is compliant with the Army ROTC contract and exhibits exceptional leadership ability and potential.

Ian Stephan

Marine Corps Association Award

Presented to a Marine option midshipman in recognition of high endeavor and superior accomplishment during four years of study at The Citadel as a Marine option student.

Joseph M. Field – Marine Corps

Marine Corps League Leadership Award

Presented to outstanding Marine and Navy seniors that have excelled in the areas of leadership, academics and military performance.

Joseph F. Field – Marine Corps
GySgt Cade Adams – Marine Corps
Andrew Brabazon – Navy
Kyle Smith – Navy

GySgt. Cade Adams accepts award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Military Officer Association of America ROTC Medal (MOAA)

Presented to outstanding cadets or midshipmen in their next-to-last year in the program who has demonstrated exceptional potential for military leadership.

Luke Meetze– Army
Luke Eafano – Air Force
Benjamin W. Stephens– Marine Corps
Austin Buttle – Navy

Military Order of the World Wars Award (MOWW)

Presented to one member in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th class from each branch of service for their diligence in demonstrating military excellence and outstanding accomplishments during the year.

Brendan Lugibuhl – Army
Hampton Rea – Army
Grant Speer – Army
Desmin Jones – Air Force
Avery Lollis – Air Force
Robert DeMarre – Air Force
Noah Plunkett – Marine Corps
Austin Miles-Curtsinger – Marine Corps
Bryce Hearsey – Marine Corps
Faith Kimpell – Navy
Dylan Wood – Navy
Paul Oelkers – Navy

Cadet Desmon Jones accepts an award at the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Photo by Russ Pace for The Citadel)

National Defense Transportation Association Award (NDTA)

Recognizes a senior cadet who demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities, academic achievement, and aptitude for military service.

Ronald Zappendorf – Army
Marshall Mckee – Air Force
Sgt. Ryan Skibicki – Marine Corps
Garrett Sebold – Navy

Cadet Ronald Zappendorf accepts award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

National Defense Industrial Association Award (NDIA)

Presented to a cadet who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities.

Thomas Hammerstone – Army
James Walker – Air Force
Ryan Harper – Marine Corps
Joshua Gorczynski – Navy

National Sojourners Award

Recognizes cadets in each ROTC department who have a potential for outstanding leadership and have encouraged and demonstrated the ideals of Americanism by deed and conduct.

Malcom Jackson – Army
Lane Johnson – Air Force
Jayden Bossian – Marine Corps
Trevor Compton– Navy

Naval Submarine League Award

Presented to the top Navy ROTC graduate volunteering for the Submarine Force.

Phillip Wellons

Navy League Honors Award

Presented to the top academic performers of the personnel within the Enlisted Commissioning Programs of the Navy ROTC department.

Ssgt. John M. East – Marine Corps
Roman Kokwsky – Navy

Pallas Athene Award

Presented to a female Army cadet who showcases scholastic excellence and is outstanding in her class.

Lydia Cook – Army

Reserve Officers Association Award

Presented to cadets who have demonstrated outstanding competence in the arts and sciences of national defense.

Marcus Duncan – Army
Angela Lance – Army
Tanner Kennaw – Army
Blayne Pennartz – Air Force
James Jeffcoat – Air Force
Caleb Mosley – Air Force
Tyler Miller – Marine Corps
Cody Green – Marine Corps
Alexei Severnyak – Marine Corps
Ernest James – Navy
Sebastian Collazo – Navy
Ulysses Grisette – Navy

Society of the Daughters of the War of 1812

Presented to cadets who have significantly demonstrated and encouraged the ideals of Americanism by both deed and conduct.

Shannon Curtis – Army
Jessica Newton – Air Force
Isaac Patterson – Marine Corps
Emily Perkins – Navy

Society of the War of 1812 Award

Presented to cadets in the 3rd class who have done the most to demonstrate and encourage the ideals of Americanism by both deed and conduct.

Marie Le Gallo – Army
Emily Lund – Air Force
Christian Checkroun – Marine Corps
Jacob Ingoe – Navy

Sons of the American Revolution Award (SAR)

Presented to the outstanding Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force cadets based on military excellence and scholarship in their ROTC studies and activities.

Joshua McKinley – Army
Kenyaz Boston – Air Force
Vincent Massaro – Marine Corps
Connor Erwin – Navy

Society of American Military Engineers (SAME)

Recognizes outstanding engineering students of the Military Reserve Officers Training Corps.

Clifford Swindel – Army
JoAnna Windborn – Air Force
Alexei Severnyak – Marine Corps
Kathryn Hollingsworth – Navy

Kathryn Hollingsworth accepts an award during the 2021 Citadel ROTC Awards Ceremony in McAlister Field House on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Special Forces Association Medal of Excellence

Presented to a standout freshman or sophomore cadet who has shown scholastic excellence and military proficiency in keeping with the ideals of U.S. Special Forces.

Wilhelm Birkholz – Army
Ethan McKenzie – Air Force
Sgt. Cody Martin – Marine Corps
Jordan Kish– Navy

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Award

Presented to outstanding cadets who have made significant contributions to demonstrate and encourage patriotism through participation in activities on campus or in the community.

John Simone – Army
Zachary Young – Air Force
Jeremy Walker – Marine Corps
Hayes Pruitt – Navy

USAA Spirit Award

Presented to students in each ROTC department that best display the traits and characteristics that embody the spirit of service to others.

Ethan Goswick – Army
Colton Parcell – Air Force
GySgt. DAnielle Beck – Marine Corps
Matthew Weaver– Navy

Col. Benjamin Vandervoort 82nd Airborne Award

Presented to an Airborne qualified MS IV.  Receives a paratrooper trophy and monetary award from the COL Benjamin Vandervoort Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association..

Jonathan Westmoreland – Army

Veterans of Foreign Wars Award (VFW)

Presented annually to seniors or juniors in each ROTC department who has achieved an outstanding academic record.

Chase Wengerd – Army
Dallas Shreeve– Air Force
Jeremy Gentle– Marine Corps
Joseph Roland– Navy

ROTC training photos from the 2020-2021 academic year