Witness says cadets at ceremony were standing in formation when some fell out

Naval Air Station Jacksonville (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A witness tells News4JAX he was at the award ceremony for students from Andrew Jackson High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, where on Wednesday evening seven cadets needed to be taken to a hospital.

John Page is a member of the Green Beret Special Forces Association, and he was at the award ceremony at NAS Jacksonville, where he helped present the awards.

According to Page, the students were standing in formation during the ceremony, when some of them fell out.

“I was watching the formation, and I was looking for that because I’ve never been to one of those formations where someone probably didn’t get overcome,” Page said. “Most of the time, and I even told some friends about it this morning who were all military-type people, and the first thing they all said — yeah, they held their knees, you know, they locked their knees.”

He said the military staff who worked at the school as instructors did a great job trying to make sure all the cadets were moving around periodically to keep their blood flowing while standing in formation. But he made it clear that this kind of thing does happen.

Page said that overall, the situation was handled well by everyone involved.

NAS JAX released a statement late Wednesday night after the incident, saying seven cadets were hospitalized for “medical emergencies” and that it was unknown exactly what caused them to fall out during the ceremony.