Ryan Bujnoch receives recognition for achievements in JROTC program


Emily Humble

Ryan Bujnoch

Emily Humble, Web Editor

Every day, for a week during the sweltering Houston summer, Ryan Bujnoch woke at 5:30 a.m. to a day of running, physical training, and being yelled at for hours on end, before going to sleep at 11 p.m.


In many ways the camp was similar to a stereotypical boot camp — except this program, held at the University of Houston, was a cadet leadership program for JROTC members, not people entering the military.


“It was bad,” K-Park sophomore Bujnoch said. “Like it was fun, but it was really difficult to do.”


Despite the harshness of the camp, it was also something at which Bujnoch excelled. At the end of the camp he was recognized as a distinguished graduate, ranking among the top five percent of the the approximately 140-cadet class.


The UH cadet leadership camp recognized by name the top two cadets who performed the best at the camp when the week came to a close. After the camp was over, one of his JROTC commanders, Lt. Colonel Patrick O’Hara (retired), informed Bujnoch that he had actually gotten third place overall — just 11 points short of taking the second place spot and being recognized by name.


“Had I run a faster mile time I probably would have beat him,” he said.


Either way, Bujnoch is happy that he was ranked so high, as he had been estimating that he would fall somewhere in the middle of the group.


Soon after, at the start of school, Bujnoch, who would like to join the U.S. Air Force academy after graduation and eventually become an officer in the Air Force, also learned that he had won the K-Park student of the month award.


On a Thursday morning, O’Hara called Bujnoch into his office. He told Bujnoch that it was going to be a good day.


To which Bujnoch replied courteously, “Yes sir, today’s going to be a great day.”


Bujnoch walked away thinking perhaps his commander was “going a bit crazy.” It was only when Bujnoch got to class that day that he learned he’d won student of the month. He had been nominated by his commanders in JROTC.
“Yeah,” he said. “That day was a good day.”