Students Honored at Maine Maritime Academy NROTC Spring 2014 Awards Ceremony

Posted on: May 6, 2014

CASTINE, Maine – Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students from Maine Maritime Academy (MMA), the University of Maine, and Husson University gathered at MMA for the annual Navy ROTC Awards Ceremony on April 14, 2014 to recognize the midshipmen’s achievements throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

“Throughout the year, all the midshipmen and officer candidates within the unit work diligently to improve themselves academically, physically, and professionally,” said Captain Michael A. Hegarty, Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit. “Today this ceremony is an opportunity to recognize their hard work and outstanding accomplishments.”

In total, 22 awards were given out to deserving students who exemplify the values and traditions that are expected of an officer in the United States Military.

The Sons of the American Revolution medal was presented by Mr. Wayne Mallar to Midshipman First-Class Matthew Plocinski for his high degree of leadership, professional military bearing, and general excellence as a member of the Navy ROTC unit.

Two medals were presented by Mrs. Sandra Swallow, State Regent for the Daughters of the American Revolution on behalf of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The awards were presented to Midshipman First-Class Kimberly Castenda and Midshipman First-Class Amanda Bello for demonstrating academic excellence, dependability, good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership, and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of the ROTC.

The Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America medal was presented by Mrs. Sonia Mallar to Midshipman Second-Class Casey Shalkowski who was chosen as a promising NROTC student who demonstrated unlimited growth potential for the Navy.

The Military Order of World Wars medals were presented by Capt. David Fenderson, United States Navy, Retired, to Midshipman Second-Class Kyle Marshall (gold medal); Midshipman Third-Class Timothy Grant (silver medal); and Midshipman Fourth-Class Matthew Breuer (bronze medal) for having demonstrated leadership, professionalism, and an unwavering patriotic desire to serve their country.

Fenderson also presented the Sojourners medal to Midshipman Second-Class Bailey Bray in recognition of the highest attributes of Americanism and support of the United States as a member of the ROTC.

The Reserve Officer Association medals were presented to three midshipmen who have demonstrated superior leadership and academic success within their class. Lieutenant Bruce Hallett presented the gold medal to Midshipman First-Class Geoff Gezik, the silver medal to Midshipman Second-Class Isaac Mitchell, and the bronze medal would go to Midshipman Third-Class Christopher Goodney, who could not be present for the ceremony.

The National Defense Industrial Association award was presented by Commander Stewart to Midshipman Second-Class Jacob Weymouth for top academic performance in both degree and ROTC courses, participation in extracurricular activities, and for demonstrating leadership qualities.

Two medals and compasses were presented on behalf of the Southern Maine Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America. These awards were presented to Midshipman Second-Class Jacob Weymouth and Midshipman Third-Class Erin Benner for having demonstrated exceptional leadership potential for military leadership as a member of the ROTC.

Additionally, the Southern Maine Chapter of MOAA awarded two scholarship checks for $500 each to the top Third-Class and Fourth-Class midshipmen. This year, the scholarships were presented by Lieutenant Schmaldienst to Midshipman Third-Class Adam Neubert and Midshipman Fourth-Class Jared Hall.

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association award is a $1,000 scholarship presented to a midshipman for outstanding performance in a technical major. This year’s scholarship was presented by NROTC Commanding Officer, Capt. Hegarty, to Midshipman Third-Class Adam Neubert.

The Association of the United States Navy award was presented to Midshipman Second-Class Joseph Zinni for outstanding academic performance in both degree and ROTC courses and for demonstrating outstanding leadership qualities. The award was presented by NROTC Commanding Officer, Capt. Hegarty.

Finally, the Chief of Naval Operations Distinguished Midshipman Graduate Program is an award program to honor one graduating midshipman at each Navy ROTC unit who has demonstrated the highest standards of leadership, academic, and military performance. This year, the award was presented by NROTC Commanding Officer, Capt. Hegarty, to Midshipman First-Class Rebecca Metcalf.

Three additional awards would be given to students who could not be present for the Awards ceremony:

The United Services Automobile Association Spirit Award goes to Midshipman First-Class Kelsey Mikkelson. This award, a portrait clock, is awarded to the unit member who best exemplifies the concept of service to their unit, community, and nation.

The Old Crow’s Award is a $1,000 scholarship awarded to a midshipman for outstanding performance in a non-technical major. This year’s recipient of the Old Crow’s Award is Midshipman Second-Class Mitra Haines.

The Marine Corps League Honor Graduate plaque was awarded to Midshipman First-Class Scott Cryer for sustained, exceptional performance in leadership, physical fitness, academics, and military aptitude on the road to becoming a Marine Corps Officer.

For more information on ROTC opportunities at Maine Maritime Academy, visit

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. For more information, visit