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    Wednesday, August 21, 2019-3:26:29P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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SSHS Manta Ray Battalion holds change-of-command ceremony

SAIPAN Southern High School on Thursday held a change of command ceremony, which saw the promotion of C/LTC Roger Valencia as the new Manta Ray battalion commander.

Valencia was a member of the CNMI Multiple School Unit team, which won the Overall Army Golden Bear championship trophy at the Golden Bear West Coast National Drill Meet Competition in Torrance, California on April 27.

At the competition, Valencia finished fourth in the Outstanding Commander for Armed category, and was fifth with Fhillip Bonillo in Armed Duo.

During the change of command ceremony on Thursday, Valencia accepted the duties and responsibilities of a battalion commander. “I will be there for any hardship or challenges.”

Manta Ray Battalion Commander Roger Valencia with his parents and Senior Army instructor Richard Basa.Manta Ray Battalion Commander Roger Valencia with his parents and Senior Army instructor Richard Basa.

Valencia succeeded C/LTC Nicole Malasarte who received a plaque of recognition from the Manta Ray Battalion and the SSHS JROTC instructor, retired U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Basa.

Malasarte was recognized for her strong leadership and endless commitment and dedication during her term from August 2018 to May 2019.

She thanked the staff officers for supporting her leadership and performing their roles well.

Valencia is the 20th battalion commander installed since SSHS began the National Cadet Corps program in August 2002.

Outgoing Manta Ray Battalion Commander Nicole Malasarte receives a plaque of recognition for her leadership. Also in photo are Saipan Southern High School principal Vince Dela Cruz, Board of Education members Paul Miura and Herman Atalig, and Sr. Army instructor Richard Basa.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio Outgoing Manta Ray Battalion Commander Nicole Malasarte receives a plaque of recognition for her leadership. Also in photo are Saipan Southern High School principal Vince Dela Cruz, Board of Education members Paul Miura and Herman Atalig, and Sr. Army instructor Richard Basa. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

In July 2003, the Manta Ray Battalion officially became part of the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps under the guidance of Sgt. Maj. Joaquin Kiyoshi.

In Nov. 2005, the Manta Ray underwent a formal inspection and received an Honor Unit with Distinction award.

In Dec. 2006, the battalion again received the Honor Unit with Distinction award with a score of 592 — the second highest score in the Western Region and the highest in the Pacific Region.

On April 19, 2008, the Manta Ray Battalion won its first overall Multiple School Unit inter-island drill competition, and has been part of the CNMI MSU that participates in the Golden Bear National Drill competition.