On Wednesday, March 31, the Brother Martin Principal, Mr. Ryan Gallagher ’00, Cmdr. Bruce Nolan ‘90, and Senior Chief Petty Officer Romico Barnes presided over the NJROTC 53rd Annual Change of Command and Awards Ceremony in the Conlin Gym on the campus of Brother Martin High School. The annual ceremony recognized outstanding cadets for their performance and dedication to the Brother Martin NJROTC program this year. The ceremony started with an invitation for family, friends, and faculty to “pin on” the new ranks for Officers and Chief Petty Officers. The ceremony also followed a traditional military formation of gathering troops and presenting cadets to the reviewing officers and guests. Cadets were honored with awards for service from 20 military and community groups. Representatives from military organizations and supporters presented awards to cadets that excelled in leadership, participation, and academics.
The final awards were presented on behalf of the Fontan family to Cadet Sean Lagrange ‘24 and Cadet Noah Mooney ‘25 as the 2021 Cadets of the Year. The Fontan Leadership and Courage awards go to the underclass cadet that distinguished themself as a leader amongst first year cadets through superior academic performance, participation, and leadership. Normally, this award goes to a single cadet. This year, Cadets Lagrange and Mooney both exemplified the ideals of the NJROTC and were presented with the award.
The ceremony concluded with a Change of Command for all of the leadership positions. The outgoing Commanding Officer, Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Avery Broussard ‘21 was presented with his commemorative plaque and a flag flown over the Nation’s Capitol building.
Following Navy Tradition, Cmdr. Nolan ordered the new leaders to “Relieve the Watch.” Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Avery Broussard ‘21 relinquished his position to the incoming Commanding Officer Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Christian Schneller ‘22.
The Seniors were then called forward with their parents and supporters to receive the Mr. John Parent Award, recognizing the dedication and assistance of the senior parents throughout their sons’ time in the Brother Martin NJROTC.
Mr. Gallagher spoke to all the cadets about the challenges of being leaders during this challenging year. “I never had to worry about how NJROTC could continue this year. You, as example students, displayed the leadership to continue what you do safely and with enthusiasm.” Bravo Zulu to the Class of 2021 and congratulations to our new leaders and award recipients!
List of Awards and Recipients:
2021-2022 NJROTC Leaders:
Commanding Officer: Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Christian Schneller ‘22
Executive Officer: Cadet Lt. Journey Harris ‘22
Command Master Chief: Cadet Master Chief Beau Robinson ‘22
Administration Officer: Cadet Lt. j.g. Zachary Rochon ‘22
Operations Officer: Cadet Lt. j.g. Landon Merritt ‘22
Supply Officer: Cadet Lt. j.g. Marc Graffeo ‘22
Platoon Commanders: Cadet Ensign Benjamin Code ‘23, Cadet Ensign Sebastian Gonzales ‘22, and Cadet Ensign Andrew Rupp ‘22