Cadets in the Walla Walla High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program gathered May 15 for the annual Military Ball. Outstanding performance and leadership in the program were highlighted during the awards ceremony, said "Dutch" Meier, volunteer advisor.
Lt. Col. Bill Bialozor, senior Army instructor, and Master Sgt. Gerald Taylor, Army instructor, presented most of the cadet awards, but were also assisted by representatives from some organizations who also selected deserving recipients. Receiving the JROTC Distinguished Service Award were Cadets Casey Victorino, John Gossett, Triton Perrin and Terrika Zapata.
Senior Army Instructor Leadership Awards by Leadership Education and Training levels to cadets: LET 1, Sam Gentzler, LET 2, Shane Perkins, LET 3, Micah Schenk and LET 4, Jessica Wilson.
Embry-Riddle Celebrate Freedom Ribbon: Cadet Seth Thomas.
Distinguished Cadet: Drea Retherford.
Washington Army National Guard Award: Cadet Aric Stahl.
Reserve Officers Association: Cadet Rishi Patel.
Daughters of the American Revolution: Cadet Amairani Juarez.
Veterans of Foreign Wars: Cadet Vince Blakely.
AMVETS: Cadet Katie Chavre.
American Legion Awards for Scholastic Excellence: Cadet Delacey Heater; Military Excellence: Cadet Michael Hobbs; and Marksmanship: Cadet Skyler Carpenter.
Scottish Rite Award: Cadet Robyn Paul.
Superior Cadet: LET 1, Kaylee Bialozor, LET2, Karri Mickelson, LET 3, Michelle Pinza; and LET 4, Stan Southern.
After the awards were presented, graduating seniors stood and, with tongue in cheek, were "fired" as cadet leaders and staff and their successors were announced for next year.
Cadet chain of command and special team assignments, reflecting promotions for the incoming leaders for academic year 2010-2011 are:
Company Cadet 1st sergeants: Vince Blakely, Kevin Brown, Clement Cantil.
Company Executive Officers: Cadet 2nd Lts. Rishi Patel, Aric Stahl and Bosco Brittain.
Company Commanders:Cadet 1st Lts. Shane Perkins, Richard Jimenez and Karri Mickelson.
Battalion Command Staff: S1 Personnel: Cadet Capt. Delacey Heater; S2 Security and Intelligence: Cadet Capt. Katie Chavre; S3 Operations and Training: Cadet Maj. Amairani Juarez; S4 Logistics and Supply: Cadet Capt. Micah Schenk; S5 Public Affairs: Cadet Capt. Kaylee Bialozor; S6 Office Automation: Cadet Capt. Drea Retherford; Special Teams Coordinator Cadet 1st Lt. Nathaniel Greene; PT Team Captain Cadet 1st Lt. Nathaniel Greene; Honor Guard Captain Cadet 1st Lt. Triton Perrin; Color Guard Captain 1 Cadet Maj. Amairani Juarez; Color Guard Captain 2 Cadet Capt. Drea Retherford; Range Operations Officer Cadet 1st Lt. Wyatt Wilks; Rifle Team Captain Cadet Capt. Katie Chavre; Armed Drill Team Captain Cadet Capt. Kaylee Bialozor; Unarmed Drill Team Captain Cadet Capt. Delacey Heater; Executive Officer Cadet Maj. Michelle Pinza; Command Sergeant Major Cadet Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Seth Thomas; Battalion Commander Cadet Lt. Col. Robyn Paul.
Taylor's retirement was announced for the end of the current school year, culminating 21 years' service to WWHS JROTC cadets and the Walla Walla School District. He receive an "Iron Mike" statuette from Fort Benning, Ga., which symbolizes the U.s. Army Infantry, and represents the "Follow Me" spirit of superlative leaders.
Bialozor estimated conservatively that during Taylor's tenure with Wa-Hi JROTC, he taught and trained more than 1,000 cadets. Also during his WWHS years, Taylor coached the Rifle Team and developed many outstanding marksmanship talents, and produced teams that consistently captured top honors around the Pacific Northwest and even a National Champion. The Cadets' Military Ball followed, where students from all levels of the program spent the remainder of the evening sharing memories with outgoing seniors, Dutch said.