Presentation of Palmetto Medal Awards a highlight of Corps Day Weekend
Bauer, Mercado and Smith recognized for exceptional leadership and contributions
CHARLESTON, S.C. – One of the highest awards presented by The Citadel will be bestowed on three people who embody the college's definition of principled leaders. The Palmetto Medal Awards will be given to the following leaders on March 15, 2014, during the 11a.m. dress parade as part of the festivities for this year's Corps Day Weekend:
Command Sergeant Major Sylvan B. Bauer, U.S. Army (Retired)
For 18 years The Citadel and the South Carolina Corps of Cadets have enjoyed the selfless service of Command Sergeant Major Sylvan B. Bauer. He came to the college in 1996 after a distinguished military career during which he rose through the ranks to the top billet for an Army Non-Commissioned Officer.
"CSM Bauer joined The Commandant's Department bringing with him an exceptional level of leadership and professionalism, "said Col. Leo Mercado, Commandant of Cadets for The Citadel. In his nomination of Bauer for the Palmetto Award, Mercado also reviewed Bauer's many achievements while at The Citadel, such as the fact that he "single handedly designed cadre training programs which focused on upper class cadets' teaching and coaching skills."
Col. Joseph Trez, Executive Director of The Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics commended Bauer for his intense loyalty to The Citadel and the Corps, as well as the personal impact he has made on the growth and development of many cadet principled leaders that Trez said, "is beyond something we can ever attempt to measure."
Bauer's military assignments included two tours in Germany – the Berlin Brigade and 1st Armored Division, as well as two combat tours; one in Vietnam and the other in South West Asia. Among Bauer's military awards are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, The Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Col. Leo Mercado, Commandant of Cadets, USMC (retired)
Col. Leo Mercado, The Citadel's Commandant of Cadets is a vice presidential level leader responsible for the command and control of the undergraduate 2,300-member S.C. Corps of Cadets. A 1979 graduate of The Citadel, Mercado joined the college's leadership in 2009. Colonel Mercado has continually worked to implement a single standard for all cadets, continually stressing to cadet leadership the importance of positive reinforcement and role modelling.
"As Commandant, Col. Leo Mercado set the highest standards for the South Carolina Corps of Cadets," said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. "Those fortunate enough to have been a cadet under his watch reflect his commitment to our Core Values, as well as, the culture and traditions of The Citadel."
Prior to joining The Citadel's leadership team in 2009, Mercado served as secretary of the General Staff at Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Va. His command assignments have included tours as: Commanding Officer, Battery C, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines; Commanding Officer, First Recruit Training Battalion, Parris Island, SC; Commanding Officer, Security Battalion, Camp Pendleton, CA; and Commander, Education Command, Quantico, VA.
Mercado's decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal; Defense Superior Service Medal; Legion of Merit with gold star; Defense Meritorious Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal with 2 gold stars; and Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with gold star. Mercado earned a degree in political science from The Citadel in 1979 and received his master's degree in public administration from Shippensburg University and a master's degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
He will retire from The Citadel after commencement in May.
Cadet Daniel Smith, 1st Battalion Commander
Cadet Daniel Smith, a contracted Army ROTC cadet, consistently demonstrates The Citadel's core values of Honor, Duty and Respect, in both his professional and personal life. He is known for a selfless attitude and for readily volunteering his time for The Citadel and for community service.
During his four years at the college, Smith has served the S. C. Corps of Cadets as Bravo Company operations clerk, regimental operations clerk and Bravo Company cadre platoon sergeant, in addition to his current position as commander for the First Battalion. During the fall, 2013 semester, and under his leadership, the first Battalion achieved both the highest 4th class grade point average (GPA) and highest 4th class retention rate in the Corps. In addition, First Battalion achieved the highest "all classes" GPA average with the averages of all four companies above 3.0.
Smith has a 3.6 GPA, has made the Dean's List six times and received Gold Stars twice. He has been named to the Commandant's List twice and the President's List twice. His last physical fitness test score reached the maximum of 300. He is a member of the 2014 Summerall Guards. He is Bravo Company's student government representative and Honor representative.
"Cadet Smith excels in all aspects of cadet life," said Lt. Col. Charles H. Graham, First Battalion Tac Officer at The Citadel. "He is an accomplished scholar, a strikingly physically fit individual and his conduct over his seven semesters as a cadet is unblemished.
Smith has completed the following Army training programs: Airborne School, Air Assault School, Recondo Badge, Cordell Scroll and Ranger Challenge. He earned numerous awards while participating in those programs, including the Order of the Purple Heart Leadership Award.
The Palmetto Medal Award was created by the college's Board of Visitors to recognize cadets, faculty, staff or alumni for exceptional performance that reflects great credit on the college or the state of South Carolina. The Palmetto Medal is the second highest honor bestowed by the college. The first is an honorary degree.
The parade will be held on Summerall Field. The public is invited. In the event of inclement weather, the awards move to Deas Hall. Other Corps Day events can be found here.