On Thursday, April 24, at 4 Bells into the 2nd Dog Watch, Port St Joe Naval Junior ROTC conducted a Change of Command in front of the entire Company of Cadets and approximately 100 parents and guests. The burden of cadet leadership was passed from LCDR Robert Dykes, who has held the reins for the past year and will be graduating in May, to LCDR Megan Hubbard, a rising senior who accepted the responsibility, having served as the Company’s Executive Officer. This time honored military tradition is carried out throughout the military not only as a symbol of change in leaders but as an assurance of leadership continuity.
After the ceremonial portion of the evening was completed, Out Of Command Awards were presented to deserving cadets who have demonstrated the ability to go above and beyond throughout the year. The following organizations provided awards to recognize outstanding cadet performance.
American Legion Post 116
Academic Excellence C/Morgan Kennington
Military Excellence C/Claudia Gref
Florida AMVETS JROTC Leadership C/Kayla Willis
Order of the Daedalians C/Matthew Rocha,
Military Officer Association of America C/Caleb Greenwood,
Military Order of the Purple Heart C/Zachory Jasinski,
Military Order of the World Wars C/ Sawyer Raffield, C/Seth Bradshaw, C/Mason Simmons,
Navy League Youth Award C/ Robert Dykes,
Scottish Rite C/ Riley Burke,
Sons of the American Revolution C/ Martin Mertz,
Surface Navy Award 1st Year C/ Kyle Bouington,
Surface Navy Award 3rd Year C/ Lindsay Furr,
VFW Post 8285 Leadership Award C/Bobby Joe Hanson
VFW Post 10069 Leadership Award C/Austin Combs
Daughters of the American Revolution C/Megan Hubbard
VFW Ladies Aux Scholarship C/Allie Stripling
Following a sumptuous dinner, each cadet was recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to this year’s company by LCDR Marty Jarosz and Senior Chief Wayne Taylor. At 8 Bells, the start of the Evening Watch, a motivation check was conducted and all hands were dismissed. The Cadets of the Port St Joe NJROTC are deeply grateful for the support given by the many and varied groups throughout the Panhandle and look forward to continued program success due to the contributions made by these organizations.