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Best of the Best—ROTC Cadet Recognized for Service


James Leenman, 2009 graduate of Clearwater Christian College, is one of the best of the best. Not only did James complete his Bachelor of Arts in History this past year, but was also commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

Recently, an article appeared in the Greenville News (Greenville, SC) in which James was lauded for his accomplishments at CCC, the Tampa Bay chapter of the ROTC, and the United States Air Force. The 2009 graduate was named Distinguished Graduate of the 158th Detachment of the United States Air Force ROTC. James, through a cross-town agreement with the University of South Florida, also became the first CCC student recognized as the detachment’s Cadet of the Year.

Trying to complete his education requirements and balance a full schedule of work and military duties, while still finding time to enjoy his college experience, left James quite busy. “Whenever I wasn’t working or doing something for ROTC, I tried to spend time with my friends. My typical week during my senior year involved about 4 hours of sleep a night, if I was lucky. I was at USF six times a week almost every week, especially during the spring. It was tough.” In his ‘free time,’ James also earned his pilot’s license.

Colonel Wright with James Leenman

An active supporter of community outreach, James was a mentor through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America and an officer of the CCC Political Club. He was also the Sports Information Director at CCC, reporting directly to the Athletic Director, Coach James Whitaker. As SID, James was responsible for accurate and timely posting of all athletic scores on the CCC website. When asked about James, Coach Whitaker said, “I created the SID position when I first came to CCC. Since I had taught and coached James while he was in high school, I knew that he would do a great job—and he didn’t disappoint me! James did a wonderful job as our first SID. I really appreciate his initiative, leadership, and sense of responsibility in this important position. If I gave him a job to do, I knew he would do it well.”

This summer, James has been working at his mother’s new music store located in Greenville, SC as he waits for God’s direction on the next step in his career. We’re proud of you, James!