Navy JROTC was not something that Conway High School senior and Cadet Jasmine Koepcke always dreamed of doing.
“I had not always wanted to be in it … but my brother was in it,” Koepcke said. “They came to my middle school and it sounded like something I would like. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.”
Koepcke was recently awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement by the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, and is only one of two students among 67 Navy JROTC units in the Carolinas to earn this prestigious award.
She currently serves as the Cadet Commanding Officer and was previously an Executive Officer.
The CHS Navy JROTC Lieutenant Commander Marc McDowell nominated Koepcke for the award last spring.
“Jasmine is an exceptional student, very conscientious, and a natural leader,” McDowell said. “She has performed in an unparalleled fashion in terms of her predecessors.”
During her time with the unit, she was the Color Guard Captain and served on a number of teams including the Drill Team, the Academic Team, the Unarmed Exhibition Team, the Marksmanship Team, and the Orienteering Team.
Koepcke said she goes to bed early, and doesn’t have a lot of free time, but loves what she does.
Most of her free time, when she isn’t serving on a team, is spent serving in a number of societies and keeping her grades up. She is the Parliamentarian for the National Honor Society, a member of the Social Studies Honor Society, the Math Honor Society, the Beta Club, the Advanced Placement Academy, and Student Council.
Over 231 hours of community service are on her resume with the unit, and she has a 5.076 GPA.
She hopes to be able to attend the Air Force Academy, she said, and chances are good, as she is currently in good standing for a nomination and acceptance to the Academy.
Koepcke said she isn’t quite sure what she wants to focus on when she gets there.
“Getting to work with the underclassmen and other cadets, I realize I really like leading and helping other kids and being responsible. I just didn’t realize it until I got here,” Koepcke said.
McDowell said that Koepcke comes from a family of military officers, as her grandfather was a Marine, her uncle is in the Navy, and her brother is currently serving in the Army.
The Legion of Valor is a federally-chartered corporation created to promote patriotic allegiance to the United States, fidelity to the United States Constitution, and popular support for civil liberties and the permanence of free institutions.