WEST ORANGE, NJ — The award-winning West Orange High School Air Force JROTC program has much to celebrate as this unique school year comes to a close.
Mountaineer Squadron’s Major Joseph Marchesini announced that several senior cadets will be entering military academies and programs: Elijah Millington will be attending the Naval Academy. Jonathan Roberson will be attending West Point Preparatory School. Maya Tobin was awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship and will be attending American University. Cade Lipsey was awarded an Army ROTC scholarship and will be attending Syracuse University. Richard Dutan and James Petrucelli have enlisted in the Marines. And Wilfredo Ardon has enlisted in the Army.
In addition to the AFJROTC cadets, several other high school seniors will be entering various branches of the military; these seniors include Juan Aguilar, Aaron Carneiro, Mike Ortiz, Ryan Tiernan and Kevin Vargas.
This year’s 2020 AFJROTC National Honor Society inductees, announced April 30, are Nathaniel Vinoya, Stephany Andrade, Kevin Bolen, Yamilee Chavez, Austin Cowley, Royson Folas, Bowie Lee, Lucio Maffei, Katie McCluskey, Elijah Millington, Emily Morales-Medina and Karin Palomino.
Marchesini was particularly proud to announce that four former Mountaineer Squadron members are graduating from college and commissioning as lieutenants in the armed forces: Justice Rooney, graduating from Rutgers, and Marshall Lipsey, graduating from Syracuse, will be commissioning in the U.S. Army, and Valerie Giovine, graduating from PennState, and Jasmyn Lettman, graduating from Rutgers, will be commissioning into the Air Force.
And on May 6, Mountaineer Squadron announced that for the fourth year in a row, it has received the 2019-2020 Distinguished Unit Award. This award recognizes Air Force JROTC units that have performed above and beyond normal expectations, and that have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to their school and community while meeting the Air Force JROTC citizen development mission for America. This award recognizes the personal growth and accomplishments of the cadets, contributions of the instructors as mentors, and the support of the school and local community.
On a somber note, Marchesini asked the community to remember that Christopher “CJ” Morgan would have been graduating from West Point and commissioning into the U.S. Army this year had he not died during a training accident last June.