Education

West Orange Jr. AFROTC Holds Annual Military Formal and Awards Ceremony

29cdd3c850ded82b6301_unnamed-209.jpg
Chief Thurston, Iveth Gonzales, Abby Rosu and Maj. Marchesini. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
ac66b2cce52eb803a2d8_unnamed-208.jpg
Maj. Marchesini, Iveth Gonzales, Danielle Arrabito, Chief Thurston Credits: Cynthia Cumming
01dd2948266c9baa99e2_unnamed-207.jpg
Maj. Marchesini, Chase Garguilo, Andrei Rosu, Matthew Stern, and Chief Thurston with Shadowboxes Credits: Cynthia Cumming
29cdd3c850ded82b6301_unnamed-209.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The West Orange High School Jr. Air Force ROTC celebrated several major successes at the annual Military Formal and Awards Ceremony, held on June 1 at the Wilshire Grand Hotel.

More than 200 cadets, family members and friends were on hand to recognize outstanding cadets and graduating seniors, and to enjoy several milestones achieved by the Jr. AFROTC program in just four short years.

The event opened with the POW/MIA Ceremony, leaving an empty table for all members of the military still missing in action. Welcomes and toasts were next, followed by the infamous mixing of “The Grog,” a foul liquid creation that is imbibed by those committing infractions of the rules of order.

Sign Up for E-News

The awards ceremony began after dinner and cadets were recognized in several categories. To see the complete list of award recipients, go here.

The Jr. AFROTC program at West Orange High School has been phenomenally successful and has grown in number each year. This year’s complement of cadets numbered 106; the number for 2017-18 is already capped at 166. The program has become a mainstay at the high school and at township military ceremonies.

Graduating seniors Chase Garguilo, Andrei Rosu, Matthew Stern, Iveth Gonzales and Danielle Arrabito proudly received shadowboxes, a long-standing tradition that highlights the recipient’s military career.

As if these accolades were not enough, Principal Hayden Moore stepped to the podium to announce that both Maj. Joseph Marchesini (USAF-Ret.) and Chief Ricardo Thurston had been awarded with Outstanding Instructor Awards by the Air Force. This award is only given to 10 percent of all instructors worldwide annually.

Once the Air Force has that top 10 percent selected, they pick one officer and one enlisted instructor for each of the six geographical regions as Region Outstanding Instructors of the year. Principal Moore then announced Maj. Marchesini had been named an Outstanding Instructor for Region II, who is now considered one of the top 12 Jr. AFROTC instructors worldwide.

The West Orange Jr. ROTC had their first official inspection this year, receiving the highest possible rating of Distinguished Unit with Merit. It is the highest award an AFJROTC unit can receive and West Orange High School was the only unit in the State of New Jersey to receive it this year. In fact, only 78 of 900 units worldwide received the distinction in 2017.

To be considered for this award a unit must receive an "Exceeds Standards" rating on their inspection, average at least 12 community service hours per enrolled cadet and have met all Air Force deadlines and requirements. All cadets who come back to ROTC next year will wear the coveted Distinguished Unit with Merit ribbon on their uniform.

Of particular significance, the service academies are required to set aside slots every year for cadets from JROTC units that have won this award. This will give WOHS cadets an advantage should they wish to attend a military academy.

The event ended with the ceremonial retirement of this year’s Cadet Lt. Colonel and Squadron Commander, Iveth Gonzales, and appointment of the 2017-18 Commander, Abby Rosu.

As the ceremony concluded and the colors were retired, cadets enjoyed some fun on the dance floor thanks to DJ Justin Davis.

To see all the photos from the Military Formal and Awards Ceremony, go here.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Mayfair Farms, West Orange

2017 Orange/West Orange UNICO Scholarship Dinner

Education Giving Back

Carousel_image_ebeb90e00b2da8ed5088_capture

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_cdac97f295f2ca00649e_screen_shot_2018-02-21_at_5.03.14_pm

Thu, February 22, 7:00 PM

Roosevelt Middle School, West Orange

Marley Dias... Gets It Done | Book Signing and Q&A

Community Calendar Education

Celebrate Your Health this Nutrition Month

February 21, 2018

Dear Editor,

This year, we learned that the number of Americans at risk for heart attack and stroke just got a lot higher.  An estimated 103 million adults have high blood pressure, according to new statistics from the American Heart Association, and about 39.7 percent of Americans have high cholesterol.  With March being National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to ...

Free Cardiac and Concussion Screenings for Young Athletes

February 22, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes (MJM) at RWJBarnabas Health will provide free cardiac and concussion baseline screenings to young athletes on Saturday, March 3, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at South Mountain Recreation Complex, Codey Arena, 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ.

When preliminary testing to identify serious cardiac ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs During "Black Panther" Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...