The 66th Annual Awards Ceremony of the Reserve Officers’
Training Corps took place on Saturday at Mosher Alumni House,
honoring over 30 Surfrider Cadets in the UCSB Army ROTC program.
UCSB Assistant Professor of Military Science Sacco Nazloomian
led the event on behalf of Lieutenant Colonel George Davis, who is
Commander of the Surfrider Battalion, and 29 different awards —
including scholarships and various other symbols of academic
recognition — were presented. The award ceremony celebrates the
dedication and outstanding performance of Surfrider Cadets
throughout the year. This year, Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Museum
& Library collaborated with UCSB Surfrider alum Captain
Alex Newsom to present the first Pierre Claeyssens Foundation’s
Alex Newsom Outstanding Cadet Award. According to Nazloomian, the
award is given to a senior member who epitomizes leadership,
military bearing, physical fitness and “Army Values,” as well as
“the highest moral character” and “ability to lead under extreme
stress.” Newsom was awarded the Silver Star for extraordinary
gallantry while serving in the 91st Calvalry and 173rd Airborne
Brigade during operations on July 27, 2007 in Afghanistan. “A first
lieutenant, his calm and focused actions saved many, and turned the
tide of battle and against a numerically superior enemy,”
Nazloomian said. “Captain Newsom’s heroic actions are in keeping
with the finest traditions of military service.” Newsom presented
the award to Cadet Eric Chu, who said he attributes his exemplary
reputation in the ROTC to the help of his peers. “Well I’m
relatively new to the quadrant, so I really owe all of my success
to my fellow troop members,” Chu said. “I’m really thankful for
them and I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for them. I’m very
thankful and honored, but I owe it to them.” The Pierre Claeyssens
Foundation sponsored an additional retroactive Newsom award to
Second Lieutenant Raelyn Guzman, a cadet from last year. Guzman,
who graduated last year, said she truly appreciates the recognition
of UCSB, as she holds fond memories of her time in the UCSB Army
ROTC. “Upon graduating, I went straight to training only a week
later,” Guzman said. “I trained at Bullock Airborne School and
became a platoon leader. Being back here today and seeing all the
cadets and their progress throughout the year, really makes me look
back and remember all the memories I’ve had here.” The Captain
Christopher C. Walter Outstanding Cadet Award — named after a
class of 1987 Surfrider Cadet who died in 1994 — was given last,
and the event ended with the official Army song and Nazloomian’s
encouragement for attendees to return next year. — UCSB student
Cheryl Nguyen contributed to this article.


A version of this article appeared on page 1
of the May 20, 2013 print edition of
the Nexus.