Martin Duque, Alaina Petty, and Peter Wang, three Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) cadets were killed with fourteen of their classmates and teachers during the 14 February school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The three cadets were awarded the ROTC Medal for Heroism by the Department of the Army during separate ceremonies, and members of the Florida National Guard attended their funerals.
Additionally, Wang was posthumously admitted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for his heroic actions. He was shot while holding a door to allow others to evacuate the building.
Retired Maj. Peter Mahmood, the senior instructor of the high school’s JROTC program, shared his sentiments on their loss in a Facebook post: “It is with broken hearts that Stoneman Douglas JROTC shares the loss of our soaring eagles!” he wrote. “These young people were truly better citizens, and better people. We honor them, and will miss their courage, tenacity, and their smiles.”
Duque and Petty were fourteen years old, and Wang was fifteen.
The Medal for Heroism is the highest Department of the Army medal that can be awarded exclusively to Army ROTC cadets. The criteria for this award is stated in Cadet Command Regulation 672-5-1, Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Decorations, Awards, and Honors: “The achievement must result in an accomplishment so exceptional and outstanding as to clearly set the individual apart from fellow students or from other persons in similar circumstances. The performance must involve the acceptance of danger or extraordinary responsibilities, exemplifying praiseworthy fortitude and courage.”