San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 8th, 2010
San Marcos Baptist Academy recognizes ROTC scholars


Representing San Marcos Baptist Academy’s (SMBA) JROTC program, LTC Larry Revell and Cadet Colonel Chloe Rocha present Cecilia Peña with a flag case during SMBA’s Corps of Cadets Awards ceremony last month. The American flag was flown over the SMBA campus by the Corps of Cadets during a recent tree dedication in honor of the late Captain Paul Peña, who was killed in action in January.


San Marcos Baptist Academy (SMBA) Bear Battalion cadets received awards and the graduating senior cadets were honored at a final Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Ceremony on May 15. The event was held indoors, due to inclement weather, and the traditional military review was not done.

However, the Corps recognized Cecilia Peña as the honorary reviewing officer. Peña is the mother of the late Captain Paul W. Peña, the class of 2000 SMBA alumnus who was serving with the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan when he was killed in action on Jan. 19.

Several local, regional and national organizations provided awards for SMBA JROTC cadets to recognize them for their performance and accomplishments throughout the school year.

Four of the awards were presented to cadets from each grade level. These included the JROTC Military Merit Award, given to Justin Driscoll, Vincent Wei, Can Cui and Drake Hill, and the JROTC Citizenship Award, presented to Zane Shirley, Alec Patton, Amy Souliotis and Blake Grimes. The Senior Army Instructor Leadership Award was  given to Rusti Wade, Brittney Dizzine, Zoe Ruiz and Kevin Walker.

Alyssa Shallenberger received the Daughters of the American Revolution Award for JROTC.  Justin Lamontagne received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Medal, and John Clayton was awarded the American Veterans of World War II Award. Trina Gao received the  Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Junior ROTC Award and Dalton Wade was given Military Order of World Wars Medal.

Recognized as the Best First Year Cadets were Chris Germer of Alpha Company and Alexey Hansen of Bravo Company. The USAR Scholar-Athlete Awards were presented to Vishal Singh and Tiara Hansen, and the United States Army Recruiting Command Award for Junior ROTC went to Alex Vletas.

Junior Zack Middleton received the Peacock Kadet Medal and was announced as the 2010-11 Corps of Cadets Commander.

Also recognized for her leadership during the past year was the outgoing corps commander, Cadet Colonel Chloe Rocha, who was the first female corps commander in the 92-year history of the Academy’s JROTC program.

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