MOAA Level of Excellence Awards

Grand Strand Chapter

Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (AROTC) at Coastal Carolina University:

One of the Grand Strand MOAA Chapter’s core missions is to support the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (AROTC) Unit at Coastal Carolina University. 

MOAA ROTC Leadership Medal/Certificate annual awards:  Near the end of each academic year our Chapter provides a MOAA Leadership Medal and Certificate to an outstanding junior or sophomore cadet at CCU Army ROTC.

CCU ROTC Commissioning Recognition Night and Color Guard presentation:  Annually, our MOAA chapter recognizes the graduating cadets who will be commissioned as Army 2nd LTs at a spring chapter dinner meeting.  We present each prospective 2nd LT with a set of dress uniform gold bars, a cloth patch insignia for their BDUs and a congratulatory certificate.  The CCU Army ROTC Unit provides the color guard for the opening of this dinner meeting.  

MOAA Chapter Guest Speaking and Mentorship Opportunities:  This year our Chapter has offered to provide guest speakers or mentors for CCU so the students will  have an opportunity to take advantage of the leadership and national security affairs expertise resident in our membership.

 Click on this link for more information regarding the ROTC program at Coastal Carolina University:  

                                https://www.coastal.edu/rotc/index.html

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Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Grand Strand Chapter of MOAA was unable to attend any CCU Army ROTC graduation or commissioning events.  However, we were still able to provide each of the five graduating cadets with a Commissioning package as described above.  In addition, we selected a top candidate to receive the year's $2,000 Colonel Robert T. Hawkins Leadership Award.  This year's graduating cadets and Hawkins award winner are identified below.  Congratulations to each of these fine young leaders.  We wish them a lifetime of success and thank them for their willingness to serve to our country.

Matthew Broomfield / Infantry

Anna Carpenter / Air Defense Artillery (2020 Hawkins Leadership Award Winner)

Shadow Ostas / Adjutant General

Hannah Smith / Adjutant General

Kiera Tyree / Cyber Security

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Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program support:

One of the Grand Strand MOAA Chapter’s core missions is to support 17 Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Units from all services assigned to our chapter.  The JROTC Units range across northeast SC and include:  Andrews HS (Navy), Aynor HS (Army), Carolina Forest HS (Navy), Carvers Bay (Marine Corps), Conway HS (Navy), Dillon HS (Army), Georgetown HS (Navy), Green Seas Floyd HS (Army), Hemingway HS (Army),  Loris HS (Army), Marion HS (Army),  Mullins HS (Marine Corps),  Myrtle Beach HS (Navy), Marlboro County HS (Army), North Myrtle Beach HS (Navy), Saint James HS (Army), and Socastee HS (Air Force).

Ongoing Contact:  The Grand Strand Chapter maintains close contact with the HS JROTC Units through our JROTC Coordinator, Dean Brown, and Scholarship Committee Chairman, Hans Duerr, who are Board Members; and they make a combination of annual personal visits as well as telephone, email and regular mail correspondence contact.  Additionally, other Board and Chapter members volunteer to present MOAA Leadership Medals at HS JROTC Annual Awards ceremonies.

Scholarship Opportunities: Over the past 15 years, the Chapter has worked hard to increase our merit based scholarship awards to college bound graduating JROTC cadets from a single $1,000 scholarship, to now five $2,000 scholarships each year.  This is one of the most generous scholarships provided by a charitable non-profit organization on the Grand Strand.  Scholarship Awardees and their families and instructors are recognized as honored guests at one of our Spring meetings.  They later ride in the Myrtle Beach Military Appreciation Days parade. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Military Appreciation Day festivities were cancelled. However, we were able to host a luncheon for the scholarship winners, their families and instructors, on June 9, 2020 at Kimbels Restaurant at Wachesaw Plantation in Murrells Inlet, SC.

Our 2020 Scholarship Winners were presented their awards at a luncheon on Tuesday, 9 June


L-R: Cadet Young; Cadet Lewis; Cadet Freeman; Cadet Allen; and Cadet Nash

Cadet Dylan L. Young (Navy JROTC) has excelled as a student and JROTC cadet at North Myrtle Beach High School. His honors include selection to the National and Social Studies Honor Societies, and the American Legion JROTC Academic Excellence Award. As Drum Major of the NMBHS Marching Band, he trained and led the Band in award-winning Band competitions. Each year he held increasingly more responsible and demand-ing positions in his unit including rifle team commander. Cadet Young will attend The Citadel and seek an active duty military commission.

Cadet Ethan A. Lewis (Army JROTC) is a scholar, athlete, and leader at Loris High School making the honor roll, playing on the Loris High School Football Team and in the school orchestra. His Senior Army Instructor describes him as a cadet that epito-mizes Army values and always sets the example for peers and subordinates alike. He takes time to mentor junior cadets while holding down a part-time job. His “can-do” attitude and willingness to take on new challenges will undoubtedly serve him well when he attends The Citadel this Fall.

Cadet Lillian A. Freeman (Navy JROTC) was a 4.0 GPA honor roll student at North Myrtle Beach High School earning academic and leadership awards from numerous national organizations. In her unit she held the positions of Public Affairs and Executive Officer and initiated several new programs to improve unit operations. She was a member of the unit Academic Team that placed top 90 percentile in the national NJROTC competition. Cadet Freeman also volunteered on campus and in the commu-nity fund-raisers for worthy causes. She has received a Letter of Assurance from the US Naval Academy and hopes to be commissioned in the Navy.

Cadet Conisia C. Allen (Navy JROTC) excelled academically with a 3.7 GPA while taking numerous Honors Courses, earning induction into honor socie-ties and the National Beta Club. She served in various leadership positions including Chief of Staff in the Myrtle Beach High School’s NJROTC program. Her efforts resulted in the MBHS unit being recognized as the “most im-proved” program out of over 600 nationwide. Cadet Allen has also given generously of her time mentoring fellow cadets and supporting various community projects. She will continue her education at Coastal Carolina University.

Cadet Alston M. Nash (Navy JROTC) has gathered multiple academic honors as a student and cadet at Georgetown High School. She served as NJROTC Battalion Executive Officer and knew all 160 cadets by name. Additionally, she was Commander of the Physical Fitness and Armed Regulation Drill Teams. She led the unit to a ranking of the #1 NJROTC unit in North and South Carolina during school year 2018-2019. As soccer player and Team Captain, Cadet Nash won more soccer match-es in a four-year period than any other student/athlete at Georgetown before her. Her future goals are to attend USC and become a dentist.


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JROTC Unit Activity Grants:  In the spring of 2017 the Chapter approved $1,000 to assist JROTC Units conduct competitive meets, make college campus and historic site visits, or fund tuition for summer leadership academies or similar unit activities for which the units do not regularly receive service financial support.  The grants were provided on a first come/first served application basis for up to $200 per unit and were accounted for in a short span of time.  For the school years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, the Chapter increased our JROTC grant commitment to $3,400 and has provided a $200 Activity Grant to all 17 HS Units we support.  For 2020 the Chapter increased its grant support to $500 per high school, for a total of $8,500.

MOAA JROTC Leadership Medal/Certificate annual awards:  Near the end of each academic year our Chapter offers to provide a MOAA Leadership Medal and Certificate to an outstanding junior or sophomore cadet at all 17 of the supported JROTC Units.  If possible, we try to provide a chapter member as presenter at the annual awards ceremonies held by the Units.  


Col. Rufus Manning, USAF (Ret) presents the 2019 MOAA Leadership Award to Cadet Vanessa Silva, a Sophomore in the NJROTC Unit at Conway High School

JROTC Senior Instructor/Spouse Recognition Night:  For the last several years, coincident with the JROTC Scholarship Award event, we invite all JROTC Unit senior instructors and their spouses to be our guests to recognize their valuable and demanding roles as mentors for the youth of our communities.  We also use this opportunity to have the JROTC instructors update our membership on the purpose and policies encompassing the JROTC program.

We honored all the area JROTC Instructors at our May 2019 Dinner Meeting



JROTC Color Guard participation in Chapter dinner meetings:  In order to add an element of a traditional military ceremony to our Dinner Meetings we invite JROTC Unit color guards to open eight of our ten monthly meetings (two of our meetings we have color guard help from the SC State Guard).  The Unit’s color guard, accompanying instructor and spouse, are invited to remain for our dinner and program as our guests if their schedule permits.  We provide a small honorarium to the JROTC Units for their efforts supporting us.

GSMOAA Chapter Guest Speaking and Mentorship Opportunities:  This year our Chapter has offered to provide guest speakers or mentors for JROTC classes so the Units have an opportunity to take advantage of the leadership and national security affairs expertise resident in our membership.

GSMOAA Chapter Membership :  The Grand Strand Chapter of MOAA remains committed to supporting our JROTC Units as fully as possible to the mutual benefit of the units, their cadets, and our membership.  We encourage officers serving in the JROTC Units to join MOAA national and our Chapter and a number of them are dedicated Chapter members.

MOAA Grand Strand Chapter is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Mailing Address:  Grand Strand Chapter MOAA,  P.O. Box 15842,  Surfside Beach, SC. 29587

Follow us on Facebook:  Grand Strand Chapter MOAA or GSMOAA

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