Lilliann Markowitz achieves top rank in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Sea Cadets

MADISON – Most people would be satisfied with only one of her achievements, but Lilliann ‘Lilly’ Markowitz was determined to reach the highest levels in three service organizations.

Markowitz has earned the Gold Award in Girl Scouts, Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts and Chief Petty Officer in Sea Cadets.

Circa her 13th birthday, Markowitz joined Sea Cadets and eventually was promoted to Chief Petty Officer, Sea Cadets’ highest rank. Less than five percent of cadets, mostly male, qualify for Chief, according to Scott Markowitz, Lilly’s father.

Sea Cadets drill monthly and engage in week-long training for STEM, medical, JAG, photojournalism or international exchange.

The first step to Chief was Recruit Training, similar to boot camp, for two weeks at NAS Pensacola. “Reveille was at 4 a.m. . . . to the PT field. I also attended week-long advanced training covering Navy history, radar, JAG, Space Camp and my favorite – field ops. We lived in a swamp with no running water, ate MREs and slept in the mud. It was fabulous!” Lilly said.

At 2022 training in Louisiana, Lilly earned the Meritorious Recognition Ribbon, Sea Cadets’ prestigious award, for saving a cadet’s life. “The cadet had an undisclosed heart problem. I recognized her condition’s severity, performed first-aid to stabilize her and took command of the scene until medical personnel arrived,” Lilly said. “She made a full recovery.”

Lilly’s unit, MS BB 41, drills in Amory, Miss. “Other cadets are exceptional young men and women who are welcoming and respectful of a female Chief,” Lilly said. Lilly was recently promoted to Midshipman (an adult officer rank); another female now manages cadet leadership.

For Boy Scouts, a friend invited Lilly to attend an-girl meeting when Lilly was a sophomore. “Lilly was hooked and decided to join,” Scott said.

“I had just enough time to make Eagle,” Lilly said. Her Eagle project involved planter boxes with poles that form an open-roofed gazebo with climbing vines at Athens Public Library.

Deadlines were tight with no downtime between ranks. Lilly finished her Eagle project on the deadline, just before her 18th birthday.

For Girl Scouts, Lilly joined as early as possible at age five and has been active since then. For her Gold project, Lilly’s team built a sensory room for children with special needs to relax and ‘decompress’ at The Arc of Morgan County in Decatur. In early May, she received the confirmation letter for her Gold Award, Girl Scouts’ highest honor and roughly equivalent to Eagle Scout.

Lilly wholeheartedly thanked Girl Scout, Boy Scout and Sea Cadet leaders, teachers, relatives and friends for encouragement.

In other honors at James Clemens, Lilly earned the DAR Youth Citizenship Medal and National Merit Scholar status; participated in National Honor Society, Science Honor Society and German Honor Society; and received the Seal of Biliteracy and National German Exam Scholarship for a three-week school, homestay in Brandenburg and sightseeing.

Lilly will attend Centre College in Danville, Ky. as a Lincoln Scholar to study biology with sights on medical school.

“I believe she may be the only ‘Chief Golden Eagle’ out there,” Scott said about Lilly’s titles.

Lilly’s parents are Scott and Kristal Markowitz. He teaches social studies at James Clemens. She works as librarian at Central School in Huntsville

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