By Capt. Phil Walters
The Historical Honor Society Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) offers the Hunley Award to worthy 2nd year JROTC Cadets who've demonstrated outstanding qualities during the 2013 school year. This award is presented as a certificate and medal which the Cadets are authorized to wear upon their uniforms. Participating High School programs that bestowed the Award selected the candidate and the Benjamin camp provided the Award (cost is $35.00 each) and a member to present it at the JROTC program's Awards Ceremony. The Hunley Award represents Honor, Courage and Commitment as exemplified by the crews of the original Confederate submarine the Hunley , taking her two crews to the bottom of Charleston Harbor, with the second crew perishing after it's successful mission of becoming the first sub to sink an enemy combatant's warship.
The Benjamin camp bestowed this Award to Cadet Tyler Colasuonno of Springstead HS Springhill (Air Force JROTC), Cadet Joseph Ruiz E6 (selected for Leadership Academy) of Riverview HS (Navy JROTC), Cadet S-4 Travis Searfoss (has CS lineage) of Strawberry Crest HS, Dover (Army JROTC) and Cadet Kieran Knox of Armwood HS, Seffner (Army JROTC). Additionally, the Diplomatic Corps of the Benjamin camp facilitated awarding Hunley medals to Cadet Victoria Delicio of Gaither HS Tampa, Cadet Jacob Stevens of Brandon HS and at Bloomingdale HS in Valrico. These facilitated awards were purchased by Capt. David King of the SCV Mechanized Calvary and presented by the General Jubal A. Early camp #556 SCV.
The JROTC programs are great venues to build confidence, excellence, achievement and student moral along with boosting academic and graduation rates among students. The SCV, as a Veterans Service organization, I believe it's within our mission to befriend, support and encourage JROTC programs within Hillsborough County and become known to the programs, their administrators and their Corps of Cadets. As such, I propose to our members to not only continue the awarding of the Hunley Award in 2014 but increase the number of Awards presented and to involve, where possible and permissible, these programs into a number of our veteran's service based activities. Furthermore, I call upon our members to step forward and adopt a High School program or number of programs by sponsoring the Hunley Award and also presenting it to their selected Cadet. Please contact me for details.