McDowell High NJROTC Unit held its annual promotion and award ceremony on Saturday, May 6.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Distinguished Unit Award – which recognized McDowell’s NJROTC unit as one on the top units in North and South Carolina.

The award is given to up to 30 percent of the units in a NJROTC area. McDowell’s area includes all the NJROTC units in North and South Carolina. The award is based on the unit's performance over the course of the year. This past year McDowell finished second in North Carolina (behind Southeast Guilford) and third overall.

“We feel proud to be a part of what the cadets accomplished this year,” Capt. Steven Ross said in a statement to The McDowell News. “The cadets worked through numerous challenges. Being awarded the Distinguished Unit award is attributed to the dedication, loyalty and commitment of the core cadets in the NJROTC program. They realize that they cannot rest on these accomplishments. To receive the award next year more of the cadets will have to step up their performance and commitment,”

The other highlight of the ceremony was the naming of the leaders for next year: Morgan Dale was named Unit Commanding Officer; and Hailey Corman, Austin Johnson, Jordan Brunette, Jessica Moore, Hailey Clark, Gabriel Randolph, Lucas Hennessey and Alex Hendley were appointed to cadet staff for the 2017-2018 school year.

 During the award ceremony, the following cadets were recognized for outstanding performances during the 2016-17 school year:

American Legion Medals for Scholastic Excellence: Seth Brunette, Rebecca Broughton and Zane Gentry;

American Legion Medals for Military Excellence: Nicolas Wendling, Morgan Dale, and Zachary Jaynes;

Sons of the American Revolution medal: Tyler Mace;

Daughters of the American Revolution medal: Amber Bartlett;

Military Orders of World Wars medal: Kaitlyn Davis;

Military Officer Association medal: Megan Cadwell;

Daedalian Achievement award: Hailey Jolly;

Stephen Decatur medals: Amanda Harris and Hailey Corman;

Non-Commissioned Officers Association medal: Austin Johnson;

Military Order of the Purple Heart medal: Krystal Moore;

Navy League Youth medal: Nelson Nobles;

Reserve Officers Association medal: Andrew Rouse;

American Veterans medal: Zachary Feit;

National Sojourners award: Gabriel Randolph;

Scottish Rite medal: Donnie Woody;

HL Hunley Award: Kearsten Pendley;

Male Physical Fitness award: Alex Hendley;

Female Physical Fitness award: Hailey Clark;

Marksmanship award: Zachary Jaynes;

Cadet of the Year: Amber Bartlett