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Kinnick Navy JROTC Cadet Receives Prestigious Award

By Diana Lopez Hansen
Kinnick Navy JROTC Cadet Receives Prestigious Award

YOKOSUKA, Japan — Department of Defense Education Activity Japan District student and Navy JROTC Master Chief Petty Officer Cadet Caycelyn Badiola received the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement Sept. 1 at the Benny Decker Theater during a Kinnick High School assembly.
The Bronze Cross is awarded to the nation’s top 22 high school junior cadets for scholastic excellence in military and academic subjects during the student’s junior year of high school. Students must be in the top 10 percent of the JRTOC class and of their overall academic class to be considered as an honored cadet.
“I’m truly proud of such a reward that is presented to a small number of cadets,” said Badiola. “It’s something that will definitely keep me motivated to continue going beyond for my unit.”
Kinnick High School’s Senior Naval Science Instructor retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kevin S. Mode commended her for being an exemplary leader, superb team member and scholastic achiever, along with praising her relentless community involvement.
“As only one of two females on the Armed Regulation and Exhibition teams, she demonstrated flawless performances, earning first and second place finishes in the 2014 Japan Regional and Far East Drill Competitions,” Mode wrote in Badiola’s award recommendation letter.
Badiola also led her Unarmed Exhibition Drill Team to first place in the 2014 Japan Regionals and Far East Drill Competition which led to the team’s invitation to the 2014 Hawaii Pacific Invitational Drill Competition. In Hawaii, they took first place overall in the Unarmed Expert Drill category.
Badiola set a standard for others to follow with a GPA of 3.89, putting her in 11th place academically in her junior class. She shared her study skills as leader of the JROTC Red Devil Company’s Echo Platoon, helping her cadets attain an average of 81 percent in test scores.
“I’ve always been a busy student since middle school, so I’ve learned to prioritize in order to complete my tasks,” said Badiola, who participates in many clubs, including the Kinnick HS marching band and mentoring program. “My personal belief is that once you’re involved in something, why not put in 110 percent effort? If not, then what you’re doing will go to waste. Do it to the fullest. This is what I also try to tell other students as well,” Badiola said.
Retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Richard Kilanski said Badiola works hard, is motivated and “earned this award through her selfless dedication to Kinnick High School’s Navy JROTC program and her relentless pursuit of superior scholastic performance.”
Badiola added, “Navy JROTC is a program that not only teaches me many valuable lessons, but it also allows me to discover more about myself and my own limits.”

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