The ninth-highest military award and the fourth-highest combat decoration, the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross, was awarded to Courtney Martin, battalion executive officer and senior in the College of Arts & Sciences Oct. 11.
Martin was awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for achievement and outstanding performance as a Navy ROTC midshipman. She represents the north-central region and is one of six ROTC students in the country to receive the annual award. Recipients are chosen from ROTC students across the country, including Navy midshipmen and Army and Air Force Cadets.
“Upon winning I was extremely honored and really in shock,” Martin said. “It’s such an incredible compliment to be recognized by such a prestigious organization as the Legion of Valor.”
The Bronze Cross was pinned by Capt. Joseph A. Bauknecht, commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, during Martin’s ceremony on campus.
Martin is not the first Marquette student awarded the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross.
Johan Haraldsen, admissions and enrollment operations officer and assistant professor of military science and leadership Army ROTC, said Marquette Army ROTC cadet Kevin Bubolz was chosen for the same award last year.
“The fact that two MU cadets, and students, receive this highly competitive award back to back is representative of the high standard of academic achievement and leadership demonstrated by all Marquette students,” Haraldsen said.
The Legion of Valor was first presented April 23, 1890, in Washington, D.C., by a group of Civil War and Indian War Campaign veterans who were recipients of the Medal of Honor. Since then, the awards have spread to ROTC students nationally for recognition of achievement, service, heroism and more.
As the battalion executive officer, Martin is in charge of the midshipman staff and oversees all NROTC battalion activities. All Navy ROTC students attend physical training sessions two times a week, beginning at 6 a.m. Martin is also heavily involved in the Marquette Women’s Club National Championship basketball team and NROTC basketball team.
Martin said ROTC allowed her to receive a great education and has seemed to be the right fit. She said ROTC has afforded her many leadership opportunities most other college students do not experience and has provided a solid support system.
“I wanted to serve my country but at the same time wanted a somewhat normal college experience,” Martin said.
Upon graduation, Martin will go into the Navy and hopes to serve on a submarine. She said the honor of her award will follow into her future.
“This award will help me to always strive to live up to the standards that the exemplary members of the Legion of Valor have set and continue to improve myself,” Martin said.