Nathalie Tomczak, National Defense Committee Chair, Alafia River Chapter DAR, and Joshua Murphy, Durant HS JROTC Award Winner

The Alafia River Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recently recognized seven JROTC students at local high schools for their excellence in academics and participation in the program.
DAR began awarding medals to ROTC students in 1967 in recognition of the ROTC as an important program that prepares trained officers for service in the armed forces.

Joshua Murphy, Brandon High School

The students recognized are: Aayliah Hart – Armwood High, Destiny Husted – Bloomingdale High School, Rayna Drigo – Brandon High, Joshua Murphy – Durant High, Kristina Flynn – Newsome High, Evangeline Madrigal – Strawberry Crest High and Elizabeth Rice – Tampa Bay Tech.

According to Publicity Chair Kim Ruiz, “The Alafia River Chapter presents the JROTC ribbon, medal and certificate annually to one student at several local high schools. The JROTC commander selects the cadet winner, which is part of their annual JROTC awards ceremony. This year, thanks to a successful garage sale fundraiser held in November by chapter members, we were able to award $40 to each cadet winner, and plan to do so next year as well.”

ROTC medals are awarded to student cadets of outstanding ability and achievement in high school JROTC programs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. They are selected by their JROTC leaders and meet the following criteria:

Recipients must have demonstrated loyalty and patriotism and earned a record of military and scholastic achievement during their participation in an ROTC program; students must be in the upper 25% of their classes in ROTC and in academic subjects and they must have shown qualities of dependability and good character, adherence to military discipline, leadership ability and a fundamental and patriotic understanding of the importance of ROTC training.

DAR currently has a network of more than 185,000 whose ancestors can be traced back to revolutionary days. Within their communities, they help support historic preservation by educating communities as well as helping to promote patriotism.

For more information about Daughters of the American Revolution, email the organization at

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.