UNION, NJ – Union High School's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) Commander Adnan Oudeh transferred authority for the 2019-2020 command of the Fighting Farmer Battalion to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Steitz in a ceremony at the high school on Thursday.  Steitz’s sister, Army Private First Class Emily Steitz, accepted the transfer of authority on behalf of her late brother Anthony, who was killed in a car accident on April 28.  Anthony Steitz was slated to serve as the battalion commander for the 2019-2020 school year.

Private Steitz then handed the Battalion colors off to the JROTC’s new commander Cadet Izabella Ksiazek, "demonstrating the leadership's confidence in the incoming commander's ability to handle the responsibility of command".

“It was an honor to serve in this battalion for the past four years,” said outgoing Battalion Commander Oudeh.  “The greatest honor I have ever had was to serve as your battalion commander for this year.”

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Assuming command of the Battlion, Ksiazek said, “I stand here, surrounded by my teammates, my friends, my brother and my sisters, ready to work together to reclaim and maintain our position as the best of the best among all JROTC programs.  Next year is going to be bright and I’m proud to have my team help me raise this program higher and leave our mark on the program and the community.”

Also at the event, Gary Steitz, Anthony’s father, was presented with the Second ROTC Brigade Raider Championship trophy, won on Saturday, May 11, 2019.  The team dedicated their win to the memory of Cadet Anthony Steitz.  “Anthony was not only a member of the Raider team, he was instrumental in the training and preparation of each member, resulting in the championship trophy.”

Command and staff positions for the 2019-2020 school year are:

     Cadet Izabella Ksiazek, Battalion Commander

     Cadet Daniel Alvarez, Executive Officer

     Cadet Catherine Barbosa, Command Sergeant Major

     Cadet Amy Hoang, Co A Commander

     Cadet Julian Cid, Co A First Sergeant

     Cadet Kevin Valentin, Co B Commander

     Cadet Sebastian VanAuken, Co B First Sergeant

     Cadet Kaetlyn Nobre, S-1 (Administration)

     Cadet Amir Scott, S-2 (Security)

     Cadet Isaiah Alviola, S-3 (Operations)

     Cadet Hallie Criollo, S-4 (Logistics)

     Cadet Matthew Cid, S-5 (Public Affairs)