Top ROTC cadets recognized at The Citadel for 2023-24

The Citadel’s mission of producing principled leaders is well demonstrated through the ROTC detachments, which provide cadets with the necessary tools to prepare them for their future military careers after graduation.

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

Each year, about 30% of those graduating from the South Carolina Corps of Cadets earn commissions into all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Annually, the departments nominate their finest cadets and active duty students for awards. Recipients were honored as a group on Thursday, March 28.

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.

Andrew E. Dezelle – Air Force

American Legion Military Excellence Award

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

Langley T. Brimm – Army

Emily E. Hickey – Navy

Vincent A. Rivera – Marine Corps

Kenyaz M. Boston – Air Force

American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award

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

Trevor G. Mayes – Army

Scott M. Dale – Navy

Grace E. Cooper – Marine Corps

George S. Honiotes – Air Force

American Veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam Award

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

Walker R. Rhue – Army

Tyler Z. Geathers – Navy

John A. Roberts – Marine Corps

Colton M. Horvath – Air Force

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.

Sara Fink – Army

Sebastian S. Klincewicz – Navy

Matthew E. Beckham – Marine Corps

Tristan R. Bisbano – Air Force

Association of the United States Army Award

Presented to the ROTC cadet who epitomizes the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless-service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

Sam Wilson – Army

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.

Aiden Morley – Army

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.

Caitlin L. Curmode – Army

Ryleigh M. Jenkins – Navy

Trey S. Edelstein – Marine Corps

Gianna M. Rabassi – Air Force

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.

Riley E. Chadwell – Army

Jayden D. Salley – Navy

Kanjanka C. Kincaid – Marine Corps

Oyindamola E. Akinsanya – Air Force

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.

Stephanie Schnite – Army (MS I)

Constance J. Toldo – Army (MS II)

 Gage Timberlake – Army (MS III)

Brendan E. Luginbuhl – Army (MS IV)

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.

Taylor N. Merrell – Army

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.

Daniel F. Smith – 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.

Nicolas R. Harpey – Navy

Marcus R. Newman – Marine Corps

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.

Thomas Fitzpatrick – Army

Asher D. Goar – Navy

Abigail G. Kanewske – Marine Corps

Pierceson C. Lee – Air Force

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.

Colby J. McCormick – Army

Alexis VanBrocklin – Army

Liam Haggerty – Army

Amanda L. Wolford – Navy

Hannah B. Cullen – Navy

Sebastian D. Herbert – Navy

Miles R. Israelow – Marine Corps

Coleman W. Bland – Marine Corps

Elijah R. Rodriguez – Marine Corps

Benjamin A. Waldron –  Air Force

Clyde E. Rankins – Air Force

Tristan Thompson – Air Force

Military Order of the Purple Heart Award

Presented to underclass ROTC cadets who have a positive attitude towards ROTC and country, hold a leadership position in the Corps of Cadets, are academically proficient and are active in the community and school affairs.

Eric Becker – Army

Robert C. Perrecone – Navy

Patrick L. Kenny – Marine Corps

Nicholas A. King – Air Force

MSgt Gavulic Award

Presented to an Air Force cadet who displays a strong work ethic and embodies team dynamics.

Brayden Shirly – Air Force

National Defense Transportation Association Award (NDTA)

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

Ethan C. Goswick – Army

Daniel R. Rathbun – Navy

Alexander S. Loser – Marine Corps

Ethan H. Nader – Air Force

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.

Clayton Gurley – Army

Timothy A. Kolb – Navy

Karessa A. Hill – Marine Corps

Keegan S. Foley – Air Force

Navy League Honors Award

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

Desmin T. Jones  – Navy

SSgt Gabriel L. Colon – Marine Corps

Reserve Officers Association Award

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

Hayden H. Back – Army

Benjamin Lesesne – Army

Brody J. McLaury – Army

Vance S. Hurley – Navy

Elisha A. Byron – Navy

Benjamin Warner – Navy

Joshua L. Riggs – Marine Corps

Samuel B. Nutting – Marine Corps

Noah P. Plunkett – Marine Corps

Daniel J. Dubose – Air Force

Andrew T. Palmer – Air Force

Allan M. Jacobs – Air Force

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.

Kylie C. Coulston –  Army

Robert J. Wright – Navy

Jonathan D. Wyble – Marine Corps

Caroline K. Weeren – Air Force

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.

David W. Gavin – Army

Rolando Jimenez – Navy

Tatiana G. Demcovich – Air Force

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.

Colin G. White – Army

Elizabeth A. Goodson – Navy

Ian P. McGrath – Marine Corps

South Carolina State Guard Award for Excellence

Presented to outstanding Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force cadets based on attitude, leadership, initiative, judgement and self-confidence.

Tristan A. Carney – Army

Ryan T. Almstadt – Navy

Thadeus J. O’Neill – Marine Corps

Jessica R. Bailey – Air Force

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.

Christian J. Howell – Army

Dylan M. Plows – Navy

SStg John R. Bauman – Marine Corps

Christian B. Naddy – Air Force

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.

Archie J. Dennis – Army

Paul M. Caruso – Navy

Kyle H. Samida – Marine Corps

Tyler E. Jacobs – Air Force

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.

Caleb A. Wilson – Army

Keshawn J. Pitts-Bermudez – Navy

Joseph P. Hiatt – Marine Corps

Aaron Candreva – Air Force

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.

Tavin F. Heisig – Army

Veterans of Foreign Wars Award (VFW)

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

Brett R. Derrick – Army

Andrew R. Forester – Navy

Vincent A. Massaro – Marine Corps

Justin H. Lively – Air Force