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Richmond Senior cadet first to receive JROTC award in honor of late Rockingham veteran

Track star and Raider Battalion cadet Maj. Andrea Ellerbe is the first cadet to receive the Steve Shelton Memorial JROTC Award. Shelton, who passed away earlier this year, was a Rockingham native and Army veteran. Contributed photo

FORT MILL, S.C. — It was announced Saturday, Nov. 12 during a Veteran’s Day breakfast at Church of Christ at Gold Hill Road that Andrea Ellerbe is the first-ever recipient of the Steve Shelton Memorial JROTC Award.

Ellerbe is a cadet major and the executive officer of the Raider Battalion. She is part of the color guard, raider team and drill teams of the JROTC program at Richmond Senior High School.

In addition to JROTC, she will graduate from RSHS in June 2023 with many accolades including, but not limited to: Honor Roll student all four years; RSHS Senate; Richmond County Schools Superintendent Student Council; MVP of the RSHS girls track and field team indoor in 2018 and outdoor in 2022; North Carolina track and field championship qualifier in four events in 2020. In North Carolina, she is ranked top 10 in the 100-yard dash and top 15 in the 200-yard dash.

Ellerbe’s future plans include attending East Carolina University in fall of 2023 as part of the ROTC program majoring in business and accounting.

As recipient of the Steve Shelton Memorial JROTC Award, Ellerbe received a trophy and a $1,500 scholarship.

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Steven Charles Shelton, whom the award honors, served 25 years in the U.S. Army and retired as a master sergeant in 2008. The first five years of his military career, he was a member of the Pershing Missile program while stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart in Germany and at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska.

He then spent 20 years as military police while stationed at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville; Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas; U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Camp Humphries in South Korea; and Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. He was designated imminent danger and deployed to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in 1989; Panama from 1989-1990; Gulf War from 1990-1991; and Bosnia from 1996-1997. After retirement from active military service, he worked for 10 years for the Department of Defense at the NSA in Augusta, Georgia.

Born in Rockingham, he attended Richmond Senior High School, obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a Master of Science degree from Bellevue University.

Shelton passed away on Oct. 4, 2022 at the age of 56, and continues to be a man of service through his gift of organ donation.

Written by Karen Shelton

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