Columbia Star

C/LT Bailey receives Legion of Valor award


Cavalier Battalion Cadet Officer C/Lieutenant Leanna Bailey receives her Legion of Valor Bronze Cross certificate from Senior Navy Instructor Captain Douglas Walker.

Cavalier Battalion Cadet Officer C/Lieutenant Leanna Bailey receives her Legion of Valor Bronze Cross certificate from Senior Navy Instructor Captain Douglas Walker.

Richland Northeast NJROTC Cavalier Battalion Cadet Officer C/Lieutenant Leanna Bailey recently received her Legion of Valor Bronze Cross certificate from Senior Navy Instructor Captain Douglas Walker.

When she entered high school, she was apprehensive about joining ROTC and thought it was intimidating. Today, Bailey is an accredited senior who has worked hard for her 5.3 GPA, improved confidence and character, and several academic and military awards.

During the end of her freshman year, Bailey recalls thinking, “There needs to be people that can step up to the plate.”

Being a leader in ROTC came naturally to Bailey, and her goal is to help other people gain the same types of skills. Cadet OPSO Anais Wade, one of Bailey’s closest friends who is also a staff officer, says Bailey really “takes the time to get to know the people she’s working with. She is very determined. She wants you to succeed more than you want yourself to succeed.”

Described by her other peers, Bailey is persistent, disciplined, intellectual, and outgoing. This is instilled in her from hours of self-work towards the betterment of her future. Her plan after high-school is to enroll in a four-year college (she is focusing on Spelman University), major in environmental engineering, and a study-abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Leanna credits God, her mother and father, and her grandfather for her achievements.

“If I liked to do it, then she’ll support me,” is what her mother Tamika Bailey, tells her. She has been cheering her daughter on from the sidelines at every drill meet, ceremony, and school event.

Her JROTC instructor, retired Navy Captain Douglas Walker, said, “When I first met Cadet Bailey during student orientation, I noticed she was very organized and had the potential to be a valuable staff member.”

One word he used to describe Leanna was dedicated. Bailey is an amazing leader, as she exhibits the basic characteristics of a JROTC cadet, has a very positive attitude, and keeps persevering within her tasks. She genuinely wants to excel in everything she does and is actively involved in programs inside and out of JROTC. Of the 14,000 JROTC cadets nominated for this honor, she was among less than 75 chosen worldwide.

Retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Frederick Gaston says that Bailey is “enthusiastic, humble, and cares for others’ welfare and being. She is a top-notch cadet and a stellar academic student who understands the meaning of serving others without expecting anything in return.”

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