The Major Frank Tejeda Award is presented each year to a member of Congress that demonstrates exception leadership. The award is named after Congressman Frank Tejeda, who was born 2 October 1945 in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up poor and in the slums of San Antonio, he was an indifferent student, skipping school and becoming involved with gangs and heading nowhere. In 1963 he dropped out of high school at the age of 17 and joined the United States Marine Corps. This is where he began to turn the direction of his life around.
As a Sergeant in Vietnam, he was awarded the Silver Star (posthumously), the Bronze Star for gallantry, and the Purple Heart. He received a battlefield commission and attended the Officer Candidate School where he maintained one of the highest grade-point averages ever recorded. Additionally, while on active duty he earned a high school equivalency diploma.
Since 1994 MCRA has been privileged to sponsor the "Excellence in Land Navigation" award which is named in the honor of 1st Lt. Keith Wells, USMCR who lead an assault to the base of Mt. Suribachi. It was for his actions during the attack he was awarded the Navy Cross. Part of his citation reads: "by his leadership and indomitable fighting spirit, 1st Lt. Wells contributed materially to the destruction of at least twenty-five Japanese emplacements." during this attack Wells was wounded and evacuated to a hospital ship where he escaped by convincing a corpsman to supply with him sulfa powder and morphine so he could join his platoon shortly after the first flag raising. He is still celebrated in the Marine Corps as the leader of what is believed to be the "most decorated platoon to fight in a single engagement in the history of the Marine Corps." Of the original 45 members of 3rd platoon that fought on Iwo Jima, all but four were killed or wounded in action. He retired from the USMC Reserves in 1959 with the rank of major.
Beginning in 2011, the MCRA in cooperation with the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy has been privileged to sponsor and present the SgtMaj Allan J. Kellogg Staff Non-Commissioned sword to the honor graduate of the Marine Reserve Sergeant, Career and Advanced Courses. The sword is named after SgtMaj Allan J. Kellogg, Medal of Honor recipient. It was for his actions in Vietnam he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Part of his citation reads: The honor graduate is selected for excellence in academics, leadership and physical fitness.
Starting in 2011, the MCRA in cooperation with the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy has been privileged to present a K-Bar to the "Gung Ho" recipient of the Reserve Marine from the Marine Reserve Sergeant, Career and Advanced Courses. The word gung ho has been in English only since 1942 and is one of the many words that entered the language as a result of World War II. Lieutenant Colonel Evans F. Carlson (1896-1947) borrowed the motto as a moniker for meetings in which problems were discussed and worked out; the motto caught on among his Marines (the famous "Carlson's Raiders"), who began calling themselves the "Gung Ho Battalion." From there eager individuals began to be referred to as gung ho. This award is voted by the members of the class!!!!!
"The effects of the Marine Corps JROTC program reach far beyond the classroom and into the community in developing character, leadership, and civic responsibility in tens of thousands of America's kids. Marine Corps JROTC at its essence is a character education program. The program keeps kids in school, helps them find their way during the turbulent teenage years, and assists them in becoming productive members of their community. Our program produces young men and women who are ready to accept the responsibilities as well as the privileges of citizenship. We are rightfully proud of our contribution to America's future and thankful for the dedicated instructors, staff, school administrators, and communities whose hard work and commitment make the program's success possible. "