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Bravo Zulu Awards for November 6, 2020

Friday, November 6, 2020

Every Friday the Fork Union Military Faculty and Staff meet to nominate a few who have exceeded the standards and demonstrated superlative performance. Whilst we have various awards and recognitions - a simple "Well Done!" we hope, is also appreciated. The combination of the Bravo and Zulu nautical signal flags, i.e., Bravo Zulu, also referred to as "BZ," is a naval signal, typically conveyed by flag hoist or voice radio, meaning "Well Done" with regard to actions, operations or performance.

The following are the Bravo Zulu awards for 6 November 2020:

Ms. Liz Zito, our IT Tech, is always there for the students’ technology concerns and willing to adjust her schedule to make sure the students and teachers have access to Perkins Technology Center's resources. With our Cadets having been on campus, in some cases, for over 90 days straight the ability to use the computer center for projects, recreation and time with friends through group activities is important for morale, motivation and wellness. Thank you for rescheduling time off to ensure coverage when needed.  Bravo Zulu, Ms. Zito!

Ms. Nicole Hackenberg, our Associate Dean/English Instructor, while continuing to work with our seniors on their college application essays, conducted numerous formal teaching evaluations with our newer teachers this week. Her detailed evaluation process has provided them with individualized and thorough feedback as they continue to grow as professionals.  She is a transformational leader who is changing the lives of our Cadets in a positive way. Bravo Zulu, Nicole Hackenberg!

Cadet First Lieutenant Jace Thompson is the Company Executive Officer for Alpha Company.  He is a third year cadet from Christiansburg, Virginia.  Cadet Thompson had a great week stepping up to fill in as the Alpha Company Commander.  Cadet Thompson is dependable, takes initiative, and is selfless.   He juggles multiple leadership roles in the Corps of Cadets with his military styled duties and also is in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts, Interact Club, weight-lifting, and off-season conditioning.  Cadet Thompson has embodied the Fork Union mantra of Body, Mind, and Spirit.  He currently has an A in Honors Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry and a 3.6 GPA.  Bravo Zulu Cadet Thompson!

Cadet Second Lieutenant Christopher Merlo is the Second Platoon Leader for Bravo Company.  He is a sixth year cadet from New Fairfield, Connecticut.  Cadet Merlo is a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams for winter and spring.  He is also a member of the FUMA Quiz Bowl Team, where he recently had an outstanding performance during a virtual competition. He will be part of the AMCSUS military Quiz Team.  Cadet Merlo is currently ranked number one in his class with a 4.697 GPA.  Bravo Zulu Cadet Merlo!

Cadet Staff Sergeant Jackson Pretus is an acting Platoon Sergeant for Charlie Company.  He is a second year cadet from Charlottesville, Virginia.  He is a member of the Logic Bowl and Cross Country teams and oversees 16 Day Student Cadets who are assigned to Charlie Company.  He also tutors his younger siblings who both have special needs every day when he returns home.  Cadet Pretus is ranked second in his class with a 4.6 GPA.  His work ethic is tireless, both at FUMA and home.  He recently presented a multimedia supported project in AP History course where he compared and contrasted the similarities and differences between democratic and anarchist groups structure, appeal to the people and effectiveness in post-Cold War geo/politics with a biblical world view that was remarkable. Bravo Zulu Cadet Pretus!

Cadet Private Mekhi McDaniels is a member of the Postgraduate Football Team in Delta Company.  He has received personnel recognition from the Postgraduate Football Team’s Head Coach, Frank Arritt, for his positivity and encouragement of others as they enter their final couple of weeks.  Cadet Mekhi stated, “I have been helping cadets work hard on focusing and achieving their goals to ensure that they become better people.”  This is the FUMA spirit!  Bravo Zulu Cadet McDaniels!

Cadet Major Carlton Ashby is the Battalion Executive Officer for the Corps of Cadets.  Over the last week, he has worked closely with the rest of the Battalion Staff and the Company Commanders to ensure the Corps of Cadets is continually improving and keeping our safety bubble by ensuring the discipline in the washing of hands, wearing of masks and tracking/reporting any problems.  He has conducted a capabilities assessment for each Cadet company in order to pinpoint areas for improvement and provide the leadership to see the change occur and be sustained. He is a leader. His dedication to excellence has made a noticeable difference in the everyday operations of the Corps of Cadets.  Bravo Zulu Cadet Ashby!

We are proud of our Cadets, Faculty and Staff for all they do. This was another great week at FUMA.  We have no COVID-19 cases amongst our Cadets, Faculty, Staff or supporting personnel on campus and our Cadets are showing great resilience. A Bravo Zulu to the Fork Union Military Academy community, which includes all of us, Alumni, Board of Trustees, Alumni Board, Parents, Donors, Friends and retired faculty/staff for your prayers and support. We go forward together... In God We Trust!  Go FUMA!


DL Coggins
Fork Union Military Academy






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