The SSgt Jeremy D. Smith Exemplary Service Award is awarded to JROTC and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadets who demonstrate exceptional leadership, dedication to their country, and service to their communities and fellow citizens. It is given each year in honor of USMC SSgt Jeremy D. Smith, who exemplified these traits in service and in life.

Those cadets selected to receive this award will be recognized at a presentation ceremony during an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, where they will get to see and experience the foundations of our nation and nexus of our republic. Recipients will also receive a customized award plaque and challenge coin, as well as recommendation letters from their U.S. Representative and CVAF leadership!*


* The award program is currently only available in limited geographic areas. Follow CVA Foundation® on social media and sign up for email updates to find out when it may be coming to your school.


You are instrumental in shaping America’s future. We can’t wait to celebrate your achievements with you!

About SSgt Smith

Jeremy Smith enlisted into the Marine Corps in 2003. While on active duty, Jeremy valiantly completed three combat tours in Iraq. Jeremy voluntarily extended his initial enlistment to complete the third tour. His mother said he volunteered because he didn’t want the younger Marines he’d trained to go into combat without him. He had to see them through, and he did.

In 2008, Jeremy enlisted in the Select Marine Corps Reserves in Texas to continue to follow his passion to serve his country and impart his vast knowledge to the Marines he would lead. In January 2011, his reserve unit deployed to Afghanistan. This deployment was Smith’s fourth combat tour.

Jeremy was killed in action on April 06, 2011. He was awarded two Navy Achievement Medals, one with valor, during his service in Iraq; and, he was awarded a Purple Hearth and Bronze Star with valor for his actions in Afghanistan.

SSgt Smith was a proud Marine and patriotic American. Through this award, we hope his example will be honored as cadets grow into the future leaders of our military and our nation.

About the Award

Through this award, CVA Foundation® is partnering with JROTC and Civil Air Patrol (CAP) units, high school students, and students’ families to provide opportunities for cadets to demonstrate civic leadership, strive for academic excellence, contribute to their communities, and practice engaged citizenship.

The award is designed to shine a spotlight on JROTC and CAP cadets who show strong dedication to these activities and encourage continued leadership, engagement, and success. The program will run each school year for five months, with opportunities to volunteer year-round.

Annually, each unit’s instructor will nominate one or two students, based on volunteer efforts, demonstrated leadership skills, academic achievement, and level of community service participation. Those students will be offered a trip to Washington, DC, where they will be recognized and have the opportunity to experience the foundations of our nation and nexus of our republic. Students will also receive a letter of recommendation from their U.S. Representative or a highly-decorated military veteran (or both!) for the student to carry with them to a university, military-related career, or military service industry.


To be considered for the award cadets will excel across a variety of criteria, including: academic achievement, community service efforts associated with bettering the lives of veterans, and citizenship. To be eligible for the award the cadet must be officially nominated by their instructor and must:

  • be in good standing and compliance with their JROTC or CAP program.
  • maintain passing grades for the semester leading up to selection.
  • complete a minimum of 30 hours documented community service hours.
  • demonstrate an appreciation of, love for, patriotism toward, and/or service to our nation.
  • consistently display outstanding leadership ability above and beyond expectations.


For more information about the award and eligibility, see your instructors or email Kandace Raymond at

Applicant Forms

Here cadets can download various forms needed to complete their application packages.

FORM JDSA-000 | Applicant Information Sheet (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-001 | Community Service Log (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-002 | Cadet Questionnaire (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-003 | Supplemental Sheet (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-004 | Letter of Recommendation Cover Sheet (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-005 | Cadet Essay (PDF | Fillable PDF)

FORM JDSA-006 | Applicant Instructions and Checklist (PDF)