2020-21 Cadets Receive Military, Discipline and Leadership Awards

Congratulations to Missouri Military Academy cadets who have received military, discipline and leadership awards to recognize their dedication to themselves and the corps of cadets, their outstanding leadership and desire to serve, and their honorable actions and judgment during the 2020-21 year. Scroll below for a full list of honorees, including award descriptions. See award photos here. 

Gen Douglas MacArthur Foundation Cadet Leadership Award: Sun Kit Tsui 

Reserved for the most outstanding cadets attending military schools and colleges across the United States. The General Douglas MacArthur Cadet Leadership Award is presented by the MacArthur Foundation to exceptional cadets from the American Military Colleges and Schools of the United States who emulate and practice the qualities exemplified by General Douglas MacArthur while he was a cadet at the West Texas Military Institute and the United States Military Academy. The criteria for the award consists of being the most soldierly performance by a senior class cadet considering academics, athletics, and leadership in accordance with detailed standards developed by each institution. 

Daughters of the American Revolution Bronze ROTC Medal (DAR): Fernando Afane 

Given for outstanding ability and achievement. The recipient must be in the top 25% in JROTC and academics, and be dependable, have good character, military discipline, leadership and a patriotic understanding of JROTC. 

Daedalian JROTC Medal: Sun Kit Tsui 

The recipient of this award displays patriotism, love of country and service, and has indicated potential and desire to pursue a military career. He is also in the top 10% of his JROTC class and top 20% of his academic class. 

American Veterans Medal for Military Excellence: Dahlil Belko 

Awarded for outstanding cadet performance, dependability, good character, military discipline, leadership and patriotic understanding of JROTC. 

Military Order of the World Wars: Charles Watson 

Awarded for improvement in military and academic studies and having the desire to serve his country and participate in military and academics extracurricular activities. 

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War: Dmitri Cary 

Awarded for unceasing demonstration of patriotism, leadership, and high academic performance. 

VFW JROTC Award: Christopher Bryant 

Awarded for outstanding achievement and leadership. 

Special Forces Association Award: Kevin Wang 

Outstanding Raider award. 

MP of the Year: Kellan Mugisha 

Awarded to the most outstanding MP member for the year.  

Stribling Cup for Highest Efficiency in Middle School: Donovan Drewry 

Awarded to the cadet with the best efficiency record for the entire middle school. 

Association of United States Army (AUSA) Leadership and Academic Achievement Award: Ethan Zinser 

Has the highest ACT/SAT score. 

Military Order of the Purple Heart: Damien Brown 

Awarded to the cadet that has demonstrated leadership ability and academic achievement. Consistently displays positive attitude for JROTC and country and holds a leadership position in corps. 

Military Officers Association of America: Rene Garcia-Garza 

Junior class cadet who displays good academic standing, high moral character, loyalty to unit school and country and exceptional potential for military leadership. 

National Sojourners Award: Fred Intwali 

Given to the cadet who encourages and demonstrates Americanism in the corps and is in the top 25% of his academic class.  

Noncommissioned Officers Association Award for JROTC: Bryce Bowen  

Awarded to the cadet who has been an outstanding NCO in the corps. He has displayed the best military bearing, appearance, deportment and leadership. 

Alumni Plaque: Senior Most Likely to Succeed: Sun Kit Tsui 

Voted by the senior class. 

William S. Lowe Trophy: Isaac Way  

Senior showing greatest all-around development while attending MMA. 

Class of 1984 Plaque for the Unheralded Leader: Phasakorn Cunningham  

Senior nonofficer who is respected by his classmates and considered to be an instrumental part of pulling the class together as a unified group. 

Richard Cooper '82 Plaque for Longest Tenure: Victor Patino  

Awarded to the cadet with the longest tenure at MMA.  

LT COL Veon McConnell Korean Trophy: Damien Brown  

Given for performing his duties as a cadet officer with honor and diligence. This award is given in honor of Veon Maurice McConnell, a former MMA faculty member who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. 

Master Sergeant Billy Crawford Memorial Award: Fernando Afane 

Given to the cadet who best demonstrated bravery, leadership and military courtesy. The award is named after Billy Crawford, a former JROTC staff member who was killed in Vietnam and cited for his bravery.  

American Legion Award for Scholastic Excellence: Nathaniel Balvanz  

Awarded for being an active participant in student activities, performing in the top 10% of his class in academic subjects, having the second-highest GPA of his class, and always demonstrating leadership characteristics. 

Celebrate Freedom Foundation JROTC Award for Academic Excellence: Fernando Afane  

Reserved for seniors with the highest personal and ethical standards, strong positive convictions, and potential to pursue a military career. The award also recognizes his outstanding personal appearance, initiative, judgment, self-confidence and courteous behavior, as well as his academic performance being in the top 15% of academic class. 

MMA JROTC Distinguished Service Award: Sun Kit Tsui  

Given to a senior cadet for his outstanding contribution to the JROTC program. 

Faculty Plaque: Dallas Grantz 

Given to a middle school cadet that has shown most leadership, cooperation and loyalty – as chosen by the faculty. 

Class of 1968 Freshman Leadership Award: Gabriel Iglesias 

Displays and shows promise of campus leadership qualities 

Dr. Gregory "Doc" McDonald Memorial Award: Gorka-Aitor Yarte-Zertuche 

Presented to a cadet who conducts himself with honor. In memory of Dr. Gregory “Doc” McDonald, MMA faculty and coach, 2007-2015. 

John W. Fritsch '1949 Award: Rene Garcia-Garza, Jr. 

Given to the junior class cadet who exemplifies honor, good discipline, academic excellence and service to the Academy 

Richard Benton Hall Class of 1976 Memorial Award: Adam Stemple 

Awarded for best embodying a true gentleman. The award is given in memory of the former Echo Company Commander, Richard Benton. 

Steve Walker Memorial Award: Gabriel Canonico 

Given for being the most outstanding first-year cadet. This award is given in memory of the former cadet, Steve Walker, who died in a car accident.  

Sen. Christopher S. Bond Award for Outstanding Middle School Underclassman: Damian Moore 

The Jerome G. Harris Award for Most Soldierly Cadet: Given to the most soldierly cadet in middle and high school. Jerome G. Harris was a professor of military science and tactics, served in WWI,II, USA Colonel.  

  • Damian Moore 
  • Dhalil Belko 

Superior Cadet-LET Award: Army JROTC award. 

  • Superior Cadet-LET 4: Nathaniel Balvanz 
  • Superior Cadet-LET 3: Bryce Bowen 
  • Superior Cadet-LET 2: Gorka-Aitor Yarte Zertuche 
  • Superior Cadet-LET 1: Gabriel Iglesias 

Meritas Discipline Plaque: The Meritas Discipline Award is given to cadets who, for the entire 2020-21 academic year, received no tours. 

  • Bryce Bowen 
  • Jonathan Rukangira 
  • Donovan Drewry 
  • Zijie Zhou 
  • Blake Morais 
  • Conner O'Neal-Carden 
  • Yu-Jen Tong 
  • Kevin Wang 
  • Gorka-Aitor Yarte Zertuche 
  • John Carlos Ahuja 
  • Nathaniel Balvanz 
  • Gage Blanton 
  • Gabriel Canonico 
  • Narathorn Cunningham 
  • Charles Davidson 
  • Kruze Hagan 
  • Mason Kletjian 
  • DeKoven Martin 
  • Ryan Miles 

Cadet News

MMA Golf Goes to State

MMA’s golf team proved to be considerable competition this season, averaging second-place finishes in tournaments. Furthermore, Cadet Oscar Lopez qualified to compete at the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) State Golf Championship, where he finished 28th out of 74 golfers.

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Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce Recognizes MMA as Small Business of the Quarter
  • Academy
  • Cadet

The Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce has selected Missouri Military Academy (MMA) for its quarterly small business award. The Academy was selected for the hard work and leadership demonstrated through its uninterrupted operation for three consecutive semesters, as well as through summer camps in 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic.

Read More about Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce Recognizes MMA as Small Business of the Quarter