When Chipley High School JROTC cadets learned of the impending retirement of 1st Sergeant Lonnie Segers as their program's Army instructor, they set a plan in motion to honor him in a big way.
In what seemed a fitting way to begin Memorial Day weekend, the cadets' plans culminated with a retirement reception held for Segers in the JROTC classroom Friday, May 23.
Cadets unveiled the "1st Sgt. Segers Cadet of the Year Award", a recognition Segers will return to present at the program's awards ceremony each year to a cadet selected by his or her commanding officers as exemplifying Seger's legacy of excellence and commitment to duty and country.
The 1st Sgt. was noticeably moved by the gesture, but held his emotions at bay until the grand finale in which cadets unveiled the naming of the program's firing range in his honor: the First Sergeant Lonnie R. Segers Marksmanship Training Facility.
Segers was also presented with the Department of the Army's Commanders Award for Public Service, with Colonel Brent E. Barnes commenting on Segers' role as a mentor.
"Lonnie Segers is a leader, mentor and American patriot to his cadets," said Barnes. "His outstanding contribution to student development and lifelong learning reflect great credit upon himself, the Sixth Brigade, Cadet Command, and the United States Army."