Cadet/Cpt. Matthew Kapileo has been promoted to Cadet/Lt. Colonel and will be the new commander of the Saipan Southern High School Manta Ray Battalion.
He succeeded Cadet/Lt. Col. Annika Matias during a change of command ceremony at school, and will serve as battalion commander for school year 2016-2017. The ceremony, which was held on May 17, at 9 am, was attended by U.S. Army Recruiter Sergeant First Class Susie Acfalle, Yvonne Pangelinan, Ray Muna, SSHS PTSA president Glenna Reyes, SSHS PTSA vice president Velma Sanchez, SSHS PTSA treasurer Velma Mafnas, former battalion commander Joann Bandales, SSHS principal Martha Kintol, senior JROTC instructor CSM (Retired) Richard Basa, JROTC instructor SGM (Retired) Joaquin Kiyoshi, and other distinguished guest, parents, and students. Kapileo joined the JROTC program since his freshman year and worked his way up to being the Bravo Company first sergeant, assistant battalion security and logistics officer, Bravo company commander, and now as the battalion commander.
“From Day 1, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the JROTC program here at Saipan Southern High School. I also figured that it wouldn’t be easy, but I’m always up for the challenge.” Kapileo said in his first speech as the Manta Ray Battalion commander.
Kapileo told the cadets that he is looking forward to working with them and that he was going to prove that he deserves this position by leading the Manta Ray Battalion to success. He thanked those who worked by his side and helped him to get where he is now.
“I’d really like to thank my siblings, instructors, and everyone I’ve met along the way because they gave me the motivation to do things to the best of my abilities. Especially my mom, for providing nonstop support for me even if I’m not always around because I’d be busy with JROTC.”
The mistress of ceremony was C/2LT Adyl Marie Feliciano. The commander of Cadets for the ceremony was C/CPT William Johnson, while the color guard team was led by C/CSM Sergio Mendiola. C/SSG Amber Pangelinan and C/CPL Arriane Antonio led the playing of the CNMI and national anthems.
The battalion staff was led by C/CPL Collins Flores. The HQ Company was led by C/CPT Jessica Palacios and C/1SG Shem Batallones. The Alpha and Delta company was combined and was led by C/CPT Mariol Joy Lopez and C/MSG Renz Yutuc; Bravo company, C/1LT Jamila Alegre and C/1SG Joshua Mendiola; and Charlie Company, C/CPT Eric Mafnas and C/1SG Dylan Ackerman.
After the change of the command ceremony, JROTC provided entertainment and refreshments and announced the new battalion executive officer, C/MAJ Ezekiel Rafanan, and new battalion command sergeant major, C/CSM June Alipio.