ROTC Cadets honored during spring awards program

Cadets in Northwestern State University’s 72nd Demon Battalion were recognized for their accomplishments during an awards program April 28. 

The program began with recognition of the graduating cadets who will commission as officers in the U.S. Army.  They are Cadets Anthony B. Cantrell of Leesville, Kayla K. Graham of Shreveport, Colby Hennigan of Alexandria, Tyler Iverson, of Fort Polk, Caleb Krikorian of Shreveport, Joseph Orchi of Leesville, Seth Ozsoy of Many and Alex J. Wade of Natchitoches. The commissioning ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 12 in the auditorium of the Teacher Education Center.

Academic awards recognized cadets who earned a 4.0 for the semester and are on the President’s List.  They are Cadets Cantrell, Hennigan, Jimmy Lara of Fort Polk and Aspen Oliver of Plain Dealing.  Cadets on the Dean’s List (3.50-3.99) are Graham, Ozsoy, Taylor Dixon of Shreveport, Michael Shamblin of Dry Prong, Ariana Astorga of New Iberia, Peyton Bordelon of Alexandria, Justin Dysarz of Sugar Land, Texas; Makenzie Cain of Shreveport, Brendan Campbell of DeRidder and Caiden Matthews of Shreveport. Cadet Brooklyn Guerra of Abbeville earned the PMS Academic Award for the highest jump in GPA.

PMS Commendation Medals, which recognize those who have contributed extraordinary efforts to the program were presented to Cadets Dixon, Loren Higginbotham of Jennings and Christian Holmes of Shreveport. Cadet Cain earned the PMS Achievement Medal for the most improved cadet.

Cadets who participated in recruiting events received recruiting ribbons.  Cadet Quintavia Johnson of Shreveport earned the PMD Recruiting Award for personally recruiting cadets to the program.

PT Attendance Award winners were Cadets Cantrell, Ozsoy, Cade Davis of Shreveport, Shamblin, Astorga, Guerra and Matthews.

Ozsoy earned the Sergeant York Award, which recognizes the cadet who excels in the program and devotes additional time and effort to maintaining and expanding it.

Top cadets earned the Super Cadet Award.  These cadets who academic and military leadership and demonstrate strong officer potential by volunteering, speaking up, encouraging others to improve and rising above their peers to build the program. This year’s top cadets were Matthews, MS 1; Andrew Wesley of Shreveport, MS II, Davis, MS III and Cantrell, MS IV.

Military awards were presented to recognize MS IV (senior) cadets instructed by Lt. Col. Joshua Drake.

Cantrell, who served as battalion commander, was awarded the department’s highest honor, the Major Gen. Urban W. Wise Touchstone Award.  He also received the Lion’s Club Award, presented to the cadet showing excellence in leadership in all facets of military science.

Graham received the award of the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, which recognizes the student who has demonstrated the qualities of leadership and high scholastic average and is active in student affairs.

Hennigan received the AISA Military History Award, which recognizes an outstanding cade who ranks in the top 10 percent in ROTC and 25 percent in other subjects and does the most to improve the Military Science Department.

Iverson received the ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award.

Krikorian received ROTC Honors.

Ozsoy received the Reserve Officers Association Award that recognizes the cadet who has contributed the most to advancing the objectives of the ROTC program, including dedication to citizenship, knowledge of civic responsibility, military orientation, self-discipline and sound work ethic.

Wade received ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award. She also received the American Legion Scholastic Excellence Award which recognized the cadet who has scored in the top 10 percent of the class in academic subjects and in the top 25 percent in military science classes.  The cadet also demonstrates qualities of leadership, having actively participated in related student activities and organizations or sports.

Awards were presented to MSIII (junior) cadets instructed by Sgt. Michael Blakely.

Davis earned ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholarship Excellence Award, along with the National Sojourners Award which recognizes a cadet scoring within the top 25 percent of the academic class who has encouraged and demonstrated the ideals of Americanism by deed or conduct.  The cadet also demonstrates potential for outstanding leadership.

Dixon received the Association of the United State Army ROTC Award presented to the outstanding MS III cadet who contributes most toward advancing the standing of the Military Science Department at Northwestern.

Cadet Jamie Dodds of Mansura received ROTC Honors and PMS Scholastic Excellence Award, along with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Award presented to a cadet in good academic standing who demonstrates concentrated effort, capability and diligence in ROTC activities.

Lara received the award of the Military Officers Association of America. The recipient is a cadet who is in good moral standing academically, displays high moral character, high order of loyalty to the unit, institution and country and show exceptional potential for military leadership.  Lara also received the American Legion General Military Excellence Award presented to a cadet who scores within the top 25 percent of the class in academic and ROTC subjects and demonstrates outstanding qualities in military leadership, discipline, character and citizenship.

Shamblin received ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award. He is also receiving the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) Spirit Award that recognizes a cadet who best displays the traits and characteristic that embody the spirit of service to others. Shamblin also received the Knights of Columbus Award presented to the cadet selected for his or her achievements on a patriotic standard above and beyond others and the Daughters of the American Revolution Award for the cadet who demonstrates loyalty and patriotism and earned a record of military and scholastic achievement during their participation in the ROTC program.

Awards were presented to MS II (sophomore) cadets who are instructed by Cpt. Jeffery Christensen.

Astorga received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Leadership Award, presented to a cadet who demonstrates a positive attitude toward ROTC and country and is active in school and community affairs.

Dysarz received the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry ROTC Award, presented to the cadet that has contributed the most among cadets on campus to encourage and demonstrate patriotism by deeds or conduct during participation in extracurricular activities or community projects.

Guerra received ROTC Honors.

Higginbotham received ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award, as well as the American Veterans (AMVETS) ROTC Award presented to a cadet in good standing in all military aspects and all scholastic grades.  He or she must also demonstrate a positive attitude toward ROTC, outstanding leadership attributes and officer potential.

Cadet Breanna James of Stonewall received the Military Order of Foreign Ward Award.

Wesley received ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award as well as the Award of the Society of the War of 1812, which goes to a cadet in the top 20 percent of their class academically, ranks in the top 10 percent in ROTC studies and has encouraged and demonstrated the ideals of Americanism by deed or conduct.

Awards were presented to MS I (freshman) cadets who are instructed by Chief Brandon Edgar.

Campbell received the Award of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, presented to a cadet who shows a high degree of patriotism to his or her nation and has demonstrated a high degree of academic performance and leadership.

Johnson received ROTC Honors and the PMS Scholastic Excellence Award.

Matthews received the Sons of the American Revolution Award presented to a cadet in good standing militarily and scholastically.

Intramural Sports Recognition Awards were presented by Team Captain Cantrell to Cadets Davis, Higginbotham, Travis Jiminez of Belcher, Holmes, Jaylon James, Ian Shortle of Bossier City and Jekeilin Smith of Shreveport.

Color Guard Awards for those cadets who volunteered to serve on the Demon Battalion Color Guard were recognized by Color Sergeant Wesley.  They are Cadets Davis, Dixon, Dodds, Shamblin, Astorga, Bordelon, Dysarz, Guerra, Cain, Campbell, Emmanuel Fields of Bastrop, Jaylon James and Matthews.

Cadet Recruiting Ribbons were awarded to cadets who actively participate in recruiting events.  Recognized were Cadets Graham, Iverson, Orchi, Ozsoy, Wade, Shamblin, Astorga, Bordelon, Guerra, Higginbotham, Breanna James, Wesley, Cain, Campbell, Logan Falgout of Des Allemands, Holmes, Jaylon James, Johnson, Matthews, Vivian Paggett of Jonesboro and Kennedy Stewart of Shreveport.

Military Order of World Wars were presented to cadets who excel in all military and scholastic aspects of the ROTC program. They are Cadets Wade, Dixon, Bordelon and Cain.

Outstanding Service Awards were presented to cadets to recognize those who contributed additional time and energy to social projects for the university and the Demon Battalion.  They are Cadets Graham, Shamblin, Wesley and Bordelon. Graham received the award for service as president of the Black Knights, ROTC’s recognized student organization.  Shamblin received the award for service as vice president, Wesley for service as secretary and Bordelon for service as treasurer.

Leadership Excellence Awards recognized cadets who demonstrated leadership ability in the program, across campus and in civic activities. They are Cadets Cantrell, Krikorian, Davis Dixon, Bordelon, Higginbotham and Matthews.

More than $2,000 in scholarship were awarded to four cadets during the program.

Lara received the Harris Family Scholarship ($250) presented to an MS II or IV who demonstrates Army values and core leadership competencies.

Graham received the James A. Noe Memorial Scholarship ($500) presented to a cadet that displays a high degree of leadership potential, a high standard of moral conduct and works to support the program.

Matthews received the Malcolm Daisy Scholarship ($500) presented to a cadet who is hardworking, loyal and dedicated and exhibits all Army values and volunteers on a regular basis.

Iverson received the Andrea Rene Cespedez “Above the Best” Scholarship ($500) presented to a cadet with a high GPA, PT score, Army values and core leadership competencies.

Next year’s cadet leadership will be Incoming Battalion Commander Davis, Command Sergeant Major Lara, Executive Officer Shamblin, Administrative Officer Dylan Trueblood of Natchitoches, Recruiting Officers Wesley and Cain, Operations Officers Dixon and Higginbotham, Logistics Officers Astorga and Dysarz, Communications Officer Guerra, Company Commander Bordelon, Company First Sergeant Breanna James, Ranger Challenge Team Captains Davis and Wesley and Guidon Bearer Matthews.  

Pictured: NSU’s Department of Military Science recognized its top cadets during the Spring 2022 Awards Program.  They are, from left, Cadets Anthony Cantrell of Leesville (MS IV), Cade Davis of Shreveport (MS III), Andrew Wesley of Shreveport (MS II) and Caiden Matthews of Shreveport (MS I).