By Bill Irwin
The U.S. Army Reserve National Scholar/Athlete Award Program kicked off the early part of January when letters and nomination forms were sent to all high schools in the battalion area.
The objective of the Scholar/Athlete Award Program is to recognize and honor student achievers. Juniors and seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in varsity or intramural sports while maintaining at least a “B” average are eligible to participate in the program.
Scholars and athletes, one female and one male, are selected by their high school administrators. The battalion’s Advertising and Public Affairs staff sends an official selection form to the school guidance counselor. Counselors then consult with the principal and athletic director to select students for the award. After the selection, the school faxes the selection form back to A&PA, who prepares the award. The award includes a certificate signed by the Chief of the Army Reserve and an Olympic-style medallion.
Recruiters should contact the guidance counselor at each of their schools and confirm the school’s participation. Selection forms must be returned to A&PA not later than May 30.
Recruiters will receive notification from A&PA when the award is ready for pickup. The recruiter then contacts the school to coordinate the presentation date, time and location. Most Scholar/Athlete awards are presented at high school award assemblies near the end of the school year, many are also presented at sports awards banquets and graduation ceremonies.
“Since its inception in 1981, the Army Reserve has believed that young people should strive for excellence in all areas of their lives and the Scholar/Athlete Award Program is our way of recognizing and rewarding selected high school students who are doing just that…excelling in the classroom and on the athletic field,” stated Lt. Col. Stephen Lockridge, the battalion commander.
The Army Reserve has presented the National Scholar/Athlete Award to students at more than 12,000 schools annually.
The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) cadets at schools with an Active Army JROTC program are also eligible to participate in the award program. The criteria for cadets are slightly different. Only one cadet may be selected for the award in a school year. The cadet must be in his second year of a three- year program or the third year of a four-year program; be in the top 25 percent of his academic class; demonstrate leadership; participate in extracurricular activities; possess an understanding of JROTC training; and, have not received the award previously.