Cadets From Union High School’s 85th Army JROTC Battalion Strive For Excellence

Written by: C/1LT Paola Del Rello

 Two cadets from Union High School’s 85th Army JROTC Battalion have recently been recognized for their achievements. Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Brianna Serrano and Cadet Major Mia Paz-Martinez have just received honors for their academic, school and community leadership.  JROTC’s mission statement is “To Motivate Young People to Be Better Citizens.” The Spartan Battalion instructors, Major-Retired Lex McClain and Sergeant Major-Retired Doug Koser both like to focus on the word “Better” as they teach cadets to lead and succeed.  These two cadets have certainly embodied this word by their performance as high achieving students and JROTC cadets.

    The current cadet Battalion Commander and Class of 2023 senior, C/LTC Brianna Serrano has received the Simple Gifts Scholarship which will cover the entire cost of her pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree from Austin College in Texas. Her leadership and excellence displayed throughout high school has resulted in this high honor. In addition to her performance in JROTC, Brianna has been a member of the FFA, Key Club, Beta Club, and Soccer team. She also served as the school’s Blood Drive coordinator, where she helped the Sampson County Regional Medical Center receive over 125 blood donations this school year. She plans to pursue a degree in Health and Exercise Science.

    The current cadet Battalion Operations Officer and finalist for Battalion Command next year, C/MAJ Mia Paz-Martinez has been accepted to attend the NC Governor’s School. This prestigious summer program is a four week residential course for gifted and talented students, integrating academic disciplines and the arts. Mia is currently a Class of 2024 junior and is currently at the top of her class with a weighted GPA of 4.38. In addition to her success in JROTC, she has been a member of the Beta Club, Key Club, Student Government, Upward Bound, and she has played basketball, football and soccer.

    The amazing performance by these two fine young cadets clearly shows their drive and motivation to bring credit to themselves, their families, school and community.

Photo caption: C/LTC Brianna Serrano and C/MAJ Mia Paz-Martinez (photo credit: C/1LT Paola Del Rello)