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NJROTC Change in Command Ceremony

A Change of Command ceremony was held on June 8 at Bell Stadium to recognize and honor the change in leadership for the Orange High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC). The event opened with introductions by the Master of Ceremonies, the Posting of Colors, and the National Anthem. Unit promotions were then announced, along with the presentation of end-of-year awards, special recognition, and citations, and concluded with a change in command from outgoing Commanding Officer Cadet Omenme Abengawe to the incoming Commanding Officer Cadet Ca'morre Jones. A final observance was the release of graduating seniors who wore their uniforms for the last time in an emotionally fueled moment.

Based on ancient military celebrations, the ceremony was formal and an impressive display of time-honored naval tradition. Naval Science instructor Chief Thomas Sperduto presented awards and read the promotion orders for the following cadets as the first order of business. They will relieve outgoing seniors of their duties. Chief Sperduto noted their achievement, leadership, dedication, and qualifications for attaining command staff positions:

Executive Officer (XO) Wilian Roca-Estrada 
C/ Lieutenant Commander (LCDR)

Operations Officer – Oluwatobi Etuk 
C/Lieutenant Junior Grade (LJG)

Master Chief Petty Officer – Nderi Thomas 
C/ Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO)

Supply Officer – Jalean Caguano-Huazhco 
C/Ensign (ENS)

Administrative Officer – Melissa Hernandez
C/Ensign (ENS)

Uniform Inspection, PT Officer, Color Guard CPT  – Christoly Georges 
C/Ensign (ENS)

Communications Officer – Christopher Seijas 
C/Ensign (ENS)
Community Service Officer – Christopher Chevalier 
C/Ensign (ENS)

Public Affairs Officer – Andrea Molina 
C/Ensign (ENS)

Academic Officer - Sir' ron Canty Venegas 
C/Ensign (ENS)

Supply Chief/Coordinator – Allan Mesirin
C/Chief Petty Officer (CPO)

Supply Chief/Awards  - Emily Rosero (Chief)
C/Chief Petty Officer (CPO)

Master at Arms - Jaiheem Llewelyn 
C/Chief Petty Officer (CPO)

Promotions Officer – Katherine Serrano 
C/Chief Petty Officer (CPO)

Physical Training Chief Petty Officer – Woodston Orisca 
C/Chief Petty Officer (CPO)

End-of-year unit service awards for cadets who have gone above and beyond to improve the NJROTC unit were presented to 16 cadets.

  1. Tobi Etuk
  2. Jalean Caguano-Huazhco
  3. Emily Rosero
  4. Allan Mesirin
  5. Woodston Orisca
  6. Christopher Chevalier
  7. Christoly Georges
  8. Wilian Roca Estrada
  9. Nderi Thomas
  10. Ca'morre Jones
  11. Lauviah Joseph
  12. Omenma Abengowe
  13. Rachael Osifo
  14. Andrea Molina
  15. Katherine Serrano
  16. Erika Arellano

Awards were also given to cadets who demonstrated exceptional military aptitude and dedication to the NJROTC program.

  1. Christopher Chevalier
  2. Oluwatobi Etuk
  3. Christoly Georges
  4. Melissa Hernandez
  5. Katherine Serrano
  6. Karen Santamaria
  7. Jalean Caguano-Huazhco
  8. Jaiheem Llewelyn
  9. Christopher Seijas
  10. Sir 'ron Canty Venegas
  11. Ca'moore Jones
  12. Wilian Roca-Estrada
  13. Emily Rosero
  14. Nderi Thomas
  15. Gregory Clossaint
  16. Andrea Molina
  17. Naomi Pierre
  18. Zaire Charles
  19. Krishna Chutckhan
  20. Lauviah Joseph
  21. Omenma Abengowe
  22. Rachael Osifo
  23. Julian Duncan
  24. Aguita Sanogo

Outstanding cadet awards were bestowed for each grade and based on citizenship, academic performance, attendance, personal appearance, and conduct, as follows:

Naval Science 2
Georges, Christoly
Etuk, Oluwatobi
Hernandez, Melissa
Beltran, Brando
Molina, Andrea (perfect attendance)
Morocho, Evelin
Olojede, Israel
Orisca, Woodston

Naval Science 3
Seijas, Christopher
Diallo, Nafissa
Canty Venegas, Sir' ron (perfect attendance)
Jones, Ca'moore
Rosero, Emily
Academic achievement awards were given to one cadet in each year group with the highest overall academic achievement in school, including navy science courses:

NS4 – Omenma Abengowe 
NS3 – Ca'moore Jones 
NS1 – Christoly Georges

The Distinguished Cadets award was also presented to one cadet in each year group with the highest overall academic standing and aptitude in NJROTC unit activities: 

NS4 – Omenma Abengowe 
NS3 – Nderi Thomas 
NS1 – Tobi Etuk 

Cadet William Roca Estrada received the Military Order of the Purple Heart National Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership abilities. In addition, Cadet Ca'moore Jones received the Daedalians Award to recognize the spirit of patriotism, love of country, and the high ideals of sacrifice that place service to the nation above personal safety or position. This award was organized in 1934 by WWI pilots.

Also, Allan Mesirin and Joderson Remys were given awards for the most improved cadets.

With the beginning of the Change of Command, Commander Omenma Abengowe addressed the crowd with reflective remarks and an outpouring of appreciation for her fellow cadets. Chief Sperduto read, "Attention to orders. Under provisions of Navy special order, Cadet Commander Ca'moore Jones assumes command of the Orange High School NJROTC unit from Cadet Commander Omenma Abengowe, effective today, June 08, 2022."

In response to the command being read, Commander Omenma Abengowe responded, "I am ready to be relieved." Commander Cadet Jones accepted his command and declared, "I relieve you, Ma'am." Commander Jones conveyed gratitude and respect for his new responsibilities in his remarks to the audience.

The event concluded with tributes to the graduating seniors who expressed their sentiments about the bonds they formed, and the family created as Orange High School NJROTC members.

The ceremony was attended by special guests, including the Orange Police Department, Orange Fire Department, military personnel, Orange High School staff members, families, and alumni, there to honor the cadets on this momentous occasion. Also congratulating the NJROTC Unit for their outstanding performance were Superintendent Dr. Fitzhugh, Assistant Superintendent Powell, Executive Director Alcantara, Principal Belton, and the Supervisor of Career and Technical Education Drakeford. It was a proud moment for the Orange School District and the NJROTC.

NJROTC Change in Command Photo Gallery