Ole Miss Army ROTC officers and cadets have honored one of their own as senior Gabriel Weiss of Gulfport received the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement.
The Bronze Cross for Achievement is awarded to fewer than 50 cadets and midshipmen every year, and then only after an extensive review process that starts with being nominated by an adviser. Weiss received the award on Thursday from Lt. Col. John Abruscato, the battalion commander, who also presided over a ceremony where freshmen and some junior cadets took an oath of allegiance and pledged to uphold Army values and teachings and to follow orders given by their commanders.
After all the cadets in attendance were called to attention, Weiss was called to the front of the room by Master Sgt. Michael Rowland. Abruscato pinned the award over his heart, handed him a framed certificate and quietly congratulated him.
Howland said Weiss was a prime candidate for the award. He has been a “consistent member of the Chancellor’s honor roll.” He maintained a high grade point average while working toward a dual degree in international studies and Chinese. According to Howland, Weiss also demonstrated very strong leadership abilities.
“It’s a great honor for us to be able to give this to him,” Abruscato said. “What I wanted to tell you freshmen is that you couldn’t have had a better mentor this week. This is what you should aspire to be. This is a cadet who has excelled in all areas. He’s truly what we call a ‘Sal,’ which is a scholar, an athlete and a leader.”
Abruscato said Weiss is an overachiever, who participated in Ranger Challenge and works out more than the required three times a week with the other cadets. Weiss also led freshmen cadets the past week through an orientation into ROTC, helping with classes on military drill and ceremony, courtesies and customs and the Army values. They also talked about their expectations as cadets.
“Most of them have never had any military experience, so this, by no means, makes them into soldiers,” Weiss said. “But it does bring them to the level where they can receive the proper training and it acclimates them to a military environment.”
This fall, Weiss plans to study at a university in Shanghai, which will mark his third time to study in China.