A group of Richards High School U.S. Navy JROTC cadets recently completed a busy week of training at Basic Leadership Academy at the National Guard base in Marseilles, Ill. | Supplied Photo
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:11AM
Several students enrolled in the Navy JROTC program at Richards High School earned top honors recently at the Basic Leadership Training program at the National Guard Base in Marseille, Ill.
Richards student Donald Jones earned one of the three Distinguished Cadet awards among more than 300 cadets from seven states. He was named the top cadet among his company of more than 100 from JROTC programs from seven states.
Richards students Thaddeus Spyrnal and Lydell Tyler earned Honor Cadet awards, presented to the top cadets in each company of more than 30 students. Basic Leadership Training divides each company into three platoons.
“Drill instructors choose the winners of these awards,” said Chief Petty Officer (ret.) Dennis Reynolds, a naval science instructor at Richards who helped organize Basic Leadership Training.
Instructors judged cadets on military drill, academics, physical training and personnel inspections.
“Students also need to demonstrate great leadership qualities and set a positive example overall through the week,” Reynolds said.
Richards students earned a number of other awards as well.
Ryan Grigg won the orienteering competition; Thaddeus Spyrnal and Matas Leskauskas both earned perfect scores on the academic test; and Lydell Tyler placed second overall in the physical training competition.
“There were approximately 300 cadets overall this year, so we are pretty excited to have five individual winners recognized from Richards,” Reynolds said. “They represented very well.”
While Bulldog Company sends students to program every summer, “this was our best year as far as individual recognitions,” Reynolds said. “This was a great group of kids. They all worked extremely hard after school to get into shape.”
Basic Leadership Training featured leadership development exercises, military drill, rafting, orienteering (search exercises using a compass and a map), fitness training, athletic competitions and swim training.
Provided to the SouthtownStar