Baptist Hill Middle High School’s JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) program is building a tradition of excellence. For the second the school year in a row, a Bobcat cadet was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement from the United States Department of the Army. Oceana Nesbitt, a senior at Baptist Hill, was presented with the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross during a school ceremony last week. Class of 2018 Valedictorian Ajani Brooks received this honor last school year.
Nesbitt is one of just three cadets in South Carolina, and the only cadet in Charleston County School District (CCSD), to earn the honor this school year. Adding to the accomplishment, only 22 of the approximately 314,000 JRTOC cadets worldwide were awarded the medal this year.
“I feel extremely honored to receive this award,” Nesbitt said. “I have definitely worked hard during my four years here, and this award is a recognition for that work as well as the support of my family, friends and Baptist Hill.”
Nesbitt was promoted to the rank of Cadet Lieutenant Colonel and designated the Battalion Commander of the Bobcat Battalion. Cadet Lt. Col. Nesbitt was also awarded the Superior Cadet Medal for outstanding leadership and academics.
The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross Achievement Award, which was created in 1951, is awarded annually to a senior JROTC Cadet by the Department of the Army for scholastic excellence in military and academic subjects, along with civic service. Cadet Nesbitt was nominated by Lt. Col. John McLeod, Senior Army Instructor with the school’s JRTOC program, and endorsed by Principal Vanessa Brown.
Cadet Nesbitt earned the award due to her achievements in academics, military leadership, academic leadership, academic and military honors, discipline, courtesy, and character as exemplified by her volunteerism over the course of four years at Baptist Hill Middle High School.
“Oceana is one of the most well-rounded students and athletes here at Baptist Hill,” stated Principal Brown. “She is a well-respected, high-performing scholar leader, and is dually-enrolled with Trident Technical College. She has the complete respect of all the faculty and her peers, and possesses the intellect, skills, confidence, and strength of character to handle the rigors of college, military and life. I am proud that she is representing our school with this award.”
“Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Nesbitt is a high school senior, college student, scholar- athlete, mentor, selfless team player, and National Guard Soldier-Citizen” added Lt. Col. McLeod. “Her technical acumen and focus allows her to participate in all her activities with excellence. She has exceeded all of my high expectations. Oceana can do anything she puts her mind to do, except fail.”
Nebsitt plans to attend Winthrop University and earn a degree in Psychology; her goals also include earning a Juris Doctorate and opening her own law firm. She believes receiving the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement will have a great impact on her future.
“Being a part of Baptist Hill’s JROTC has been a great experience,” Nesbitt added. “The program exposes you to great people who have big plans and teaches you about life, so, in turn you set big goals for yourself. Additionally, our faculty is incredible; whether you have an academic or personal problem, they put everything into helping you.”
For more about the award Nesbitt received, contact Lt. Col. McLeod at (843) 899-2276.