Pasadena High School JROTC Cadet Lt. Col. Jasmin Astorga received the Legion of Valor of the United States of America Bronze Cross award at the Pasadena ISD board meeting Tuesday night, the highest award in the Marine Corps JROTC program.
Astorga was nominated for the award by Senior Marine Instructor Master Sgt. Shafi McCants and Regional ROTC Director Lt. Col. Mark Stroman for demonstrating leadership and scholarship.
“Jasmin has made my life very painless for the last two years. When one of top cadets transferred to another school, I told all of my class of 2016 that someone is going to have to fill the void,” McCants said. “Jasmin accepted the challenge by preparing the unit for our inspection, which went flawlessly. Her ability to handle the day-to-day operations of our unit, and other extra-curricular activities is a testament to her maturity, time management and leadership skills. She and the rest of her graduating class will be missed next year.”
The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross, established in 1951, is awarded annually to six senior cadets nationwide in the Marine Corps JROTC program. Astorga is the first JROTC cadet in Pasadena ISD and the first female cadet in the history of the Legion of Valor to receive the award.
Astorga was the top cadet for all of the Marine Corps programs in Region 5 which consists of 60 schools and over 8,100 cadets in the states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
She is currently the programs Battalion Commander and is a member of the National Hispanic Honor Society, marching band and academic decathlon.
“The program is incredible. I love everything that has come with my position, even when I was a private I enjoyed the program and the motivation of the senior cadets and the instructors,” Astorga said. “If it was not for the work that my parents have done to provide a good life for me, I would not have gotten as far as I have in life or be as well rounded.”
Her future plans include attending the Naval Academy or Texas A&M University, where she plans to continue ROTC and eventually serve in the Marine Corps as a military lawyer.
Astorga says that she isn’t alone in the pursuit of excellence when it comes to JROTC. “I can’t say enough about our Senior Marine Instructor,” said Astorga. “He does so much for the program and the cadets daily. You definitely do not want to disappoint him. He is always there for us, and keeps the program moving forward.”
Astorga’s name will now be entered into the Congressional Record and stored permanently at the Library of Congress.
From left to right: Pasadena High School Principal, Joe Saavedra; Marine Instructor Gy. Sgt. Bryan Hamm; Cadet Lt. Col. Jasmin Astorga; Regional ROTC Director Lt. Col. Mark Stroman and Senior Marine Instructor Master Sgt. Shafi McCants.