Youth are often awarded for their scholastic achievements, but The American Legion believes they should also be praised when they demonstrate strong qualities of character and good citizenship. That's why, since 1926, the Legion has recognized such students with its School Award Medal Program.
Locally the award is given to a boy and a girl in the graduating classes of West Carteret High School and Morehead City Middle School. The Certificate of Honorable Mention is given to the runner up. Those who receive a medal must exemplify six qualities that define character: courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service.
Each awardee receives a certificate and a medal with the six qualities listed on the face of the medal, as the back bears the Marine Corps motto, "Semper Fidelis" ("always faithful").
The program's success for the past 90-plus years has been prominent. In its first year, 145 students received medals and in 2013, more than 18,000 were awarded medals
- Place emphasis on the development of the qualities of COURAGE, HONOR, LEADERSHIP, PATRIOTISM, SCHOLARSHIP and SERVICE.
- Develop those ideals of Americanism among young people which will make them citizens of the highest type.
- Give recognition through the award of American Legion School Award Medals to the boy and to the girl who are deemed most worthy of the high qualities of citizenship and of true Americanism.
American Legion Post 46 Past Commander Bob Pyer presents School Awards at Morehead City Middle School.
American Legion Post 46 Adjutant Rebecca Sotirkys presents School Awards at West Carteret High School along with checks for $100.