JROTC Top Cadets Honored At Awards Ceremony

First African-American Commander of Texas A&M University’s Corp of Cadets serves as reviewing officer

April 23, 2012

HISD's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program honored its top six cadets from the Class of 2012 on April 21 at HISD’s JROTC Final Review and Awards ceremony.  The students were chosen earlier this semester from the ranks of all the graduating seniors in HISD's 25 JROTC programs. At the ceremony held at HISD’s Delmar Field House, the six students were promoted to cadet colonel, which is the highest rank attainable in the JROTC program.

The reviewing officer and keynote speaker at the awards ceremony was Marquis Alexander, a 2007 graduate of HISD’s Barbara Jordan High School for Careers, who was recently selected as the commander for the 2012-2013 Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets.  Alexander will be the first African-American student in the university’s 136-year history to assume the prestigious position.

"The time I spent in HISD’s JROTC program was crucial to my personal development and has taught me the discipline and the commitment that I will need in my new position as the Corps commander at A&M," said Alexander. "Anything I can do to give back to my fellow HISD Cadets, I am honored to do so."

Alexander and his fellow cadets from Texas A&M University served as the selection board for this year’s HISD JROTC competition. HISD cadets received points based on their scholastic standing and participation in extracurricular activities. Cadets were also awarded points at the competition for their proficiency on the Military Qualification Test, an oral presentation, a personal evaluation consisting of military courtesy, knowledge of current events, appearance, knowledge of geography, and an evaluation of first-aid techniques such as lifesaving, bandaging, and transporting sick and wounded victims.

The top six graduating seniors from the class of 2012 are:

Cadet Colonel Ron-Joseph Lastimosa
Corps Commander (Top Graduate)
Lamar High School

Cadet Colonel Veronica Zaragoza
First Brigade Commander (#2 Graduate)
Waltrip High School

Cadet Colonel Nallely Prudencio
Second Brigade Commander (#3 Graduate)
High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Cadet Colonel Thesly Imboden
Third Brigade Commander (#4 Graduate)
Reagan High School

Cadet Colonel Cristian Buitrago
Fourth Brigade Commander (#5 Graduate)
Bellaire High School

Cadet Colonel Merline Gonzalez
Fifth Brigade Commander (#6 Graduate)
Scarborough High School

Click here to read biographies on each of the cadets.