NSU ROTC recognizes cadet achievements in fall awards program

The Northwestern State University Department of Military Science hosts a ceremony for cadets at the conclusion of each semester to recognize academic and military achievements and present scholarships provided by ROTC alumni and friends of the Demon Battalion. LTC Joshua Drake is the Professor of Military Science, and MSG Mike Blakely is the Senior Military Science Instructor.

The ceremony began with the announcement of component and branch assignments for the battalion’s May 2022 commissionees:

Cadet Anthony Cantrell will graduate with a Master of Science in Homeland Security. He has been selected for active duty in the Military Intelligence Corps with branch detail to Infantry.

Cadet Kayla Graham will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Military Leadership. She will serve in the Army National Guard.

Cadet Colby Hennigan will graduate with a Master of Science in Homeland Security. He will serve in the Army Reserve.

Cadet Tyler Iverson will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a major in Biomedical and a minor in Military Leadership. He will serve on active duty in the Ordnance Corps.

Cadet Caleb Krikorian will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and continue to serve in the Army National Guard.

Cadet Said Joseph Orchi graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2021 with a Bachelor of General Studies and a minor in Social Science. He will serve on active duty in the Military Intelligence Corps.

Cadet Seth Ozsoy will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. He will serve in the Army National Guard.

Cadet Alex Wade will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Exercise Science with a minor in Military Leadership. She will also serve in the Army National Guard.

Dr. Kimberly McAlister, Dean, Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development, presented certificates for the President’s and Dean’s Lists. Those on the President’s List were Anthony Cantrell, Colby Hennigan, and Makenzie Cain. The Dean’s List included Kayla Graham, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Michael Shamblin, Arianna Astorga, Peyton Bordelon, Justin Dysarz, and Travis Jimenez.

LTC Drake presented additional academic honors. Those receiving Cadet Honors were Tyler Iverson, Seth Ozsoy, Cade Davis, Loren Higginbotham, and Wesley Andrew while Alex Wade received honors for Cadet Scholar.

ROTC Honors recipients were Anthony Cantrell, Kayla Graham, Colby Hennigan, Tyler Iverson, Caleb Krikorian, Seth Ozsoy, Alex Wade, Cade Davis, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Genisis Reliford, Michael Shamblin, Dylan Trueblood, Arianna Astorga, Peyton Bordelon, Khadijah Evans, Loren Higginbotham, and Andrew Wesley.

Those earning the Scholastic Excellence Award included Anthony Cantrell, Kayla Graham, Colby Hennigan, Tyler Iverson, Seth Ozsoy, Alex Wade, Cade Davis, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Michael Shamblin, Arianna Astorga, Peyton Bordelon, Loren Higginbotham, and Andrew Wesley.

On his arrival at Northwestern earlier this year, LTC Drake named seven priorities for the Demon Battalion with recruiting falling second only to “Train America’s Future Leaders.” U.S. Army Cadet Command issues two awards for cadet recruiting. The PMS Recruiting Award recognizes those Cadets who have recruited an eligible Cadet into the program. Receiving this award were Anthony Cantrell, Kayla Graham, Alex Wade, Jamie Dodds, Arianna Astorga, and Makenzie Cain. The Cadet Recruiting Award acknowledges those who have participated in at least two recruiting events: Kayla Graham, Caleb Krikorian, Seth Ozsoy, Alex Wade, Taylor Dixon, Michael Shamblin, Loren Higginbotham, Andrew Wesley, McKenzie Cain, Brendan Campbell, Logan Falgout, Emmanuel Fields, Caiden Matthews, and Kennedy Stewart.

The PMS Commendation Medal recognizes extraordinary effort in service to the Demon Battalion. Honored with this award were Michael Shamblin, Andrew Wesley, and Caiden Matthews.

The PMS Achievement Medal recognizes those who have exhibited the most improvement overall in military skills, academics, and determination. Jamie Dodds, Arianna Astorga, Justin Dysarz, and Quintavia Johnson received this award.

The PMS PT Attendance Award is new this semester, and it was designed specifically to encourage Cadets to participate in physical fitness training. These Cadets had a perfect attendance record for PT: Anthony Cantrell, Kayla Graham, Seth Ozsoy, Michael Shamblin, and Andrew Wesley.

A well-rounded student gives back through participating in campus and civic activities. Those receiving the Leadership Excellence Award were Anthony Cantrell, Cade Davis, Taylor Dixon, Loren Higginbotham, Logan Falgout, Caiden Matthews, and Caleb Krikorian.

The Outstanding Service Award acknowledges Cadets who volunteer for ROTC’s Recognized Student (RSO) Organization and Demon Battalion social activities. Receiving this award were RSO President, Kayla Graham; Vice President, CDT Michael Shamblin; Treasurer, CDT Peyton Bordelon; and Secretary, CDT Khadijah Evans. CDT Colby Hennigan also received the award for his service as the Battalion Executive Officer and tailgate coordinator.

Ranger Challenge is a US Army Cadet Command competition designed to challenge Cadets’ mental and physical toughness and to develop leadership while fostering teamwork and esprit-de-corps. Teams compete against other colleges throughout the nation in events such as: patrolling, marksmanship, weapons assembly, one-rope bridge, grenade assault course, Army Combat Fitness Test, and land navigation. The competition ends with a ten-kilometer road march.

This is the first time in over 4 years that the Demon Battalion has fielded a team. They placed 16th overall from the 39 battalions in 6th Brigade – and 1st of all the Louisiana battalions.

Receiving the Ranger Challenge Tab were Anthony Cantrell and Cade Davis (team captains), Seth Ozsoy, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Jimmy Lara, Michael Shamblin, Dylan Trueblood, Peyton Bordelon, Justin Dysarz, Loren Higginbotham, Andrew Wesley, Brendan Campbell, and Caiden Matthews.

Intramural sports play a key role at Northwestern. In addition to providing recreation and exercise, they enhance the academic experience by promoting teamwork, personal accomplishment, and competition. Those receiving the IM Sports Award were Cade Davis (team captain), Anthony Cantrell, Seth Ozsoy, Alex Wade, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Jimmy Lara, Michael Shamblin, Dylan Trueblood, Justin Dysarz, Loren Higginbotham, Andrew Wesley, Brendan Campbell, Logan Falgout, Emmanuel Fields, Travis Jimenez, Caiden Matthews, Kennedy Stewart, and Caleb Krikorian.

Those participating in a Color Guard play a pivotal role in honoring tradition and paying respect to those serving in the Armed Forces, past and present. Receiving the Color Guard Award were Dylan Trueblood (Color Sergeant), Seth Ozsoy, Cade Davis, Taylor Dixon, Jamie Dodds, Michael Shamblin, Peyton Bordelon, Justin Dysarz, Andrew Wesley, Makenzie Cain, Brendan Campbell, Logan Falgout, Emmanuel Fields, Quintavia Johnson, Caiden Matthews, and Caleb Krikorian.

Thanks to the generosity of ROTC alumni and friends of the Battalion, scholarships totaling over $2,000 were awarded to six deserving Cadets:

The Teresa Cazales Scholarship recognizes a Cadet who demonstrates the Army Values and Core Leader Competencies. The recipient of this scholarship was Quintavia Johnson.

The Harris Family Scholarship was established by Brett Harris, son of LTC Walter B. Harris, Jr., NSU PMS from 1977 to 1982. The recipient must be an MS III or IV who demonstrates the Army Values and Core Leader Competencies. This scholarship was awarded to Alex Wade.

Captain Brittany Jeanice credited involvement in activities across campus for her success in ROTC and on active duty. As such, being active in ROTC and at least two other NSU activities are required to receive this award, alongside a high GPA and leadership potential. The recipient was Arianna Astorga.

The criteria for the James A. Noe Memorial Scholarship states the candidate must display a high degree of leadership potential, a high standard of moral conduct, and work to support the program. The scholarship was awarded to Kayla Graham.

Captain Kristen Daisy established the Malcolm Daisy Scholarship in her father’s name because it is given as a reward for perseverance against adversity and drive to serve one’s country as an Army officer. It is awarded to a hardworking, loyal, and dedicated Cadet who exhibits all Army Values and volunteers on a regular basis. The recipient was Caiden Matthews.

With requirements of a high GPA and PT score, Army Values, and Core Leader Competencies, the Andrea Rene Cespedes “Above the Best” Scholarship is a tough one to achieve. Tyler Iverson was awarded the scholarship.

Lastly, the Northwestern Demon Regiment, the Demon Battalion’s alumni arm, was thanked for its continued support. Members of the Executive Council include LTC Arthur Smalley (US Army Retired), Chief of Staff; MAJ Ted Fowler (US Army Retired), Deputy Chief of Staff; MAJ Richard Hooter (US Army Retired), Marketing Officer; Mrs. Dee Fowler, Heritage and Historical Officer, Ms. Julia Martin, Administrative Officer; and Mr. Ted Duggan, Personnel Officer.

Pictured: Awards and scholarships were presented during the Department of Military Science fall awards program. Pictured are members of NSU’s ROTC Ranger Challenge Team. They are, front row from left, Caiden Matthews, Taylor Dixon, Michael Shamblin, Jamie Dodds, Loren Higginbotham and Brendan Campbell. On the back row are Anthony Cantrell, Seth Ozsoy, Jimmy Lara, Dylan Trueblood, Peyton Bordelon, Justin Dysarz, Andrew Wesley and Cade Davis.


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