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News Story
Updated: 05/16/2014 08:00:01AM

Pirate’s ROTC Awards Night Banquet steers the ship to a new direction

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HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
The 2013-2014 Pirate Battalion Commanding Officer C/CDR Alex Harvey relinquished his command to new Pirate Battalion Commanding Officer C/SCPO Brianna Spieldenner as she fights back tears. The change of command was the last event of the evening.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
On behalf of the 2014 Pirate Battalion, Cadet Commander Alex Harvey presented Senior Naval Science Instructor Commander Steve Davis, USN Retired, with a special thank-you basket.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
With seniors leaving, new staff positions were announced at the awards banquet. Gathered for a group photo the outgoing seniors and their replacements, the incoming officers for the Pirate Battalion.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS

Team Commanders, C/CPO Justin Grening, C/SCPO James Coffey, C/LTJG Allyssa Cuevas, C/CPO Lukas Philips, C/SCPO Brianna Spieldenner and C/ENS Carly Cheatham were the first to receive the red berets - a new tradition - during the Port Charlotte High School NJROTC's Annual Awards Banquet held April 23 at Kings Gate County Club.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
The Hunley Award from the Sons of Confederate Veterans was presented to PO2 Ronnie Kirby for his honor, courage and commitment to the PCHS Navy Junior ROTC by Tom Geffert.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
Emil Venclik, life member of Post 5690 Port Charlotte Veterans of Foreign Wars presented the JROTC Citation and Medal Award in recognition of outstanding achievement and exceptional leadership ability to both C/SN Chadwick Davis and C/PO2 Dylan Caparo.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
C/CPO Justin Grening received the Stephen Decatur Award from the Surface Navy Association for demonstrating the Navy's core values of honor, courage and commitment.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
C/PO2 Arrielle Smith and C/PO2 Arianna Burns both were honored with the American Legion Unit 110 award presented by Michael Raymond, Commander of Post 110.

HERALD PHOTO BY BETSY WILLIAMS
Cadet Lieutenant Commander Abby Adkinson, Cadet Commander Alex Harvey and Cadet Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Elliott had the honor of presenting the 2013-14 autographed Port Charlotte High School Navy Junior ROTC Pirate Battalion photo to Naval Science Instructor Senior Chief Petty Officer Roman Leal, USN Retired, who is leaving Port Charlotte and moving to north Florida with his wife.

By SHAYLIN FLORES

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Excitement, nervousness, anxiety or complete happiness were the feelings that roamed through the rooms of the Kings Gate Country Club the night of April 23. While Special Operation’s Chief Justin Grening walked around inspecting every inch of the room until it was perfect, his assistants Clemente, Cupo and Torres along with his helpers Francis, Kern, Kirby and Moore were getting ready to welcome all the cadets and guests into the most waited-for event of the year — the 2014 Port Charlotte High School Navy Junior ROTC Awards Night Banquet.

That night was the last time ROTC seniors Alex Harvey, Abby Adkinson, Meaghan Chauvin, Allyssa Cuevas, Thomas Elliott, Deanna Hannah, Jaroslav Vanko, Kyle Creamer, Arianna Burns, Cory Boike, Eleazar Gonzalez, Kenneth George, Toni Starr, Matthew Baumgardt, Kyle Croker, Kelly Clark, Adam Ely, Matthew Becker, Kody Spangler, Patrick Cairns, Anita Abalon, Matthew Segarra, Zachery Faust, Casey Cumberworth and Kenny Gardiner would wear their uniform. The ceremony was a bittersweet night, as the Pirate Battalion would soon have to say their goodbyes to fellow senior shipmates.

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