Rear Admiral Couture visits East Aurora High School's NJROTC unit

Rear Admiral Jennifer S. Couture visited East Aurora High School's NJROTC unit on Wednesday, Dec. 14, honoring the district with the opportunity to show off its program.

East Aurora's NJROTC unit is the largest in the Midwest and number five in the nation.

Tomcat cadets greeted Rear Admiral Couture in regimental formation at East High's Field House, during a visit which included the chance to tour District 131's unit spaces - including supply, armory, and marksmanship spaces.

The Units Unarmed Drill Team demonstrated an amazing performance led by Cadet Rose Ramirez.

Rear Admiral Jennifer S. Couture, third from left, visits East Aurora High School NJROTC program, led by Commander Michael Kerley, second from right. Courtesy of East Aurora Unit District 131

The Rear Admiral Couture, in addition to holding bachelor and master's degrees in international studies and relations, completed further education at the U.S. Naval War College and Joint Forces Staff College prior to serving in multiple operations as officer and commander at sea and ashore.

Admiral Couture awarded Cadets Jesus Rodriguez and Steven Chawgo with NJROTC Drone Pilot Wings.

Commander Michael Kerley said the awards recognized the hard work of East High cadets who regularly train throughout the year.

"To be awarded these wings each Cadet had to train, test, and pass the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft General - Small Exam. Both Cadets studied and trained this summer at East High School and they are both FAA Certificated Remote Pilots," Kerley said.

Also receiving recognition were 1st and 2nd Quarter "Cadets of the Quarter."

Cadet Seman, Apprentice Kimberly Granados, Cadet Petty Officer First Class Leslie Zamora, Cadet Master Chief Gabriel Camacho, Cadet Lieutenant Jesus Rodriguez, Cadet Seaman Apprentice Raquel Martinez, Cadet Petty Officer First Class Emily Rodriguez, Cadet Senior Chief Petty Officer Natalia Umana and Cadet Lieutenant Junior Grade Alexandra Keller were all recognized.

The December visit placed District 131 further on the map with this opportunity to display the dedication, skill, and discipline of Tomcat cadets.

Admiral Couture addressed the students and encouraged them to continue doing the great work that she witnessed that day.

For current East Aurora students, meeting with Rear Admiral Couture gave them a greater glimpse of where the program at large could take them, illustrating what is possible when they are motivated to reach their full potential.

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