Semper Fi Society’s First Field Exercise of the Year

FEX 1 pic 3On October 10th, Marine Options of the Boston NROTC battalion and supporting cadre members went to Fort Devens for their first FEX of the year. At 1700 on Friday, the motivated midshipmen loaded into vans eager to get field exposure that will help them both at OCS and in the fleet.

Upon arrival, Semper Fi Society members posted security and set up tents, hoping to be able to finish quickly and get sleep. Unfortunately for them, the cadre was watching closely and midshipmen started mysteriously disappearing. Before long, the Marines had lost an entire squad. Thanks to Plt Sgt Pushaw’s efforts, all midshipmen were recovered without any causality. The Marines learned to always buddy up and let their squad leaders know where they were going.

After set up, the Marine Options formed columns with their packs on, ready to step off for a 6 mile hike. The first challenge came with a steep hill, but through the motivating efforts and will of everyone on the FEX, no one fell out. Soon people were smiling and laughing, enjoying the challenge of a well-mapped hike. The hike was successful without a single midshipmen dropping or lightening load.FEX 1 pic 2

After the hike, the exhausted Marines moved to their sleep system where they enjoyed a night under the stars, despite having tents. OIC Kim insisted “Suffering brought people together,” and so it became the motto of the FEX. Five hours and several fire watches later, the midshipmen were woken up once again to begin a new day, starting with rifle drill lead by GySgt Askew. Rifle drill was a new but exciting part of the FEX because drill is a key element in OCS.

The last event of the day was Fire Team in the Offense, or FITO for short. This is a bulldog’s* time to shine as they navigated a fire team sized unit of midshipmen through a forest in order to reach an objective. This was the first time the bulldogs were the fire team leaders in FITO, and each bulldog learned quickly and made great progress, setting a glowing example for the third and fourth class.

FEX 1 picAfter the FEX, a very happy group of Marine options loaded into the climate-controlled vans and shared stories and laughs over a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee before cleaning rifles and ending hot wash at Ashford Supply. The Midshipmen then said goodbye and reminded each other in true Marine fashion that they had logbook PT on Monday. The FEX both fostered midshipmen camaraderie and excitement about their jobs as future Marine Corps officers. However, most midshipmen were also excited to shower off their war painted faces and order Dominos.

Written by Midn 3/c Kristen Noviello

*bulldog: Junior/second class midshipman preparing for OCS the summer before their senior year

Farewell to GySgt Romer

GySgt Romer     Now that his time in Boston has come to an end, the presence of outgoing Assistant Marine Officer Instructor (AMOI) GySgt Romer will be greatly missed. During his two years in Boston, GySgt Romer led from the front to shape the Consortium with his enthusiasm, professionalism, and unparalleled work ethic. By applying his wealth of knowledge and skill sets gained from a wide variety of roles in the Marine Corps, he directly influenced many successes of the Consortium.

An 0811 Field Artillery Cannoneer, GySgt Romer previously served with 5th Battalion 11th Marines Tango Battery as a HIMARS section chief and Battery Gunny/Battery MSgt. During this time, he deployed twice to Afghanistan, playing a key supporting role in the Battle of Marjah. His additional assignments included a deployment to Iraq with 2nd Battalion 11th Marines Golf Battery as a Squad Leader and Platoon Sergeant in a provisional rifle platoon involved in the push for Fallujah and Operation New Dawn. He also served a tour on the drill field at MCRD San Diego and two summers at Officer Candidate School (OCS) as a Sergeant Instructor and Platoon Sergeant.  Along the way, his peers chose him multiple times as the most gung-ho Marine. In summer 2014, he was once again at OCS, this time as a candidate in the 10-week OCC program.  He graduated in the top of his class and held the Platoon Commander billet in the graduation ceremony. His current assignment is in College Station, TX at Texas A&M, where he will study Leadership and commission as a Marine Corps officer through the MECEP Program.

A primary responsibility of the AMOI is to manage the Marine Option Midshipmen – a task GySgt Romer fulfilled well past the expectations of his billet. He guided eight of his midshipmen and three officer candidates to successfully complete OCS and earn their commissions as Marine Corps officers. His work with the 25th Marines secured new gear for the Midshipman and resulted in a complete overhaul of an old and outdated supply room. Beyond taking care of his Midshipman by ensuring they were properly outfitted, GySgt Romer arrived early and left late every day while maintaining an open door policy. He even brought counseling to a mobile level by giving rides to Midshipmen in the government vans, claiming one for the Marines and naming it the “Green Machine.”

While GySgt Romer undoubtedly displayed an exceptional commitment to the training and welfare of his Marine Options, he was also an invaluable resource and mentor to the Navy Options in the ROTC battalion.  He is especially well-known for his effort and creativity in supervising and planning ceremonies in events.  This was exemplified by one major event that GySgt Romer took charge of: MIT Pass in Review. Not only was the drill well executed, but he also managed to arrange the participation of the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, the attendance of the local fire department, and a full ceremonial artillery battery from the Army National Guard.

GySgt Romer is the embodiment of what it means to be a Marine and set the example for those around him. As AMOI in the Boston NROTC Consortium, he freely offered his time and knowledge to anyone who asked.  As a hands-on leader he was never far from the center of activity, training and educating midshipmen. His distinct character will always be remembered in Boston, as well as the fleet, by the many people he influenced during his time here. To GySgt Romer, we thank you one last time for your two years of dedication and offer our sincerest congratulations on your acceptance into the MECEP Program.  There is no individual more deserving. Best of luck in following years, and we will see you in the fleet soon.

Semper Fidelis.

Written by Ms. Emilee Johnson

MIT Joint Field Meet

On Wednesday, October 1st, the three branches of the MIT ROTC program met on Briggs Field for the annual Joint-Service Field Meet. The competitions include gorilla ball, ultimate football, and dodgeball with a combat race at the end. Navy has won the MIT Field Meet every year since 2003 and the midshipmen wanted to keep it that way.

DSC00162In the first game of ultimate football, Navy quickly jumped ahead scoring multiple times before Air Force answered back with a touchdown of their own. Navy would go on to win that game by a significant margin. The gorilla ball game was not going as well. Army took control from the beginning of the game by moving the ball down the field quickly and with precision. Despite their best efforts, Navy could not recover that game.

In the second round of games, Navy faced off against Army in dodgeball and against Air Force in gorilla ball. Learning from their first game, Navy came out strong in gorilla ball, quickly putting pressure on the Air Force defense and scoring early. In dodgeball neither team was willing to go down. Army won the first game so going into the second round, Navy knew they had to win to give themselves a chance. After an intense final minute of play, the game was called a tie. Emotions were high on both sides and the intensity could be seen on every cadet and midshipman’s face. Despite the best efforts of the midshipmen on the court, the third round resulted in a tie and Navy was unable to get the overall win.DSC00188

The third round of games had Navy facing off against Air Force in dodgeball and against Army in ultimate football. Wins in both of these games would put the Navy one game behind Army going into the combat race.

The Navy/Army football game is always extremely intense and aggressive. With outstanding effort from both sides, Navy found themselves tied with Army with only a few seconds left. Unfortunately for the Navy defense, Army made their way down the field to score. Despite a great play by MIDN 4/c Gray and great leadership from MIDN 1/c Forsey, Army was able to push past Navy and win.

The final part of the Field Meet was the combat race. This race is a total of 200 yards in length. It begins with a low crawl and high crawl to a water jug carry. From there, a team of four had to fireman carry a partner halfway to the 100 yard mark and then switch positions. At the end of 100 yards, the team had to secure a manikin dummy and carry it all the way back to the start. Midshipmen and Army cadets cheered on their teams, but it was Air Force who came in first.

Standing there for the final Award Ceremony, the midshipmen were disappointed that they had not been able to continue their winning streak but had a fun morning of competition and camaraderie with the other ROTC branches. Next year, Navy will come back more motivated than ever to win the trophy back and return it to its proper place in the Navy wardroom.

MIDN 3/c Monica Shifflet

Navy Falls to Army in Curtis Cup In Close Game, 23-24

P1000203On Friday, 3 OCT 2014, the Curtis Cup was held at New Balance Field between the Boston University Army, Air Force, and Naval ROTC branches. The Curtis Cup is an annual flag football tournament during which the different ROTC branches gather in friendly competition.
The event kicked off with an Army vs. Air Force game, which resulted in a victory for Army. As Army and Air Force players were on the field, Navy practiced along the sidelines and tried to keep warm as the night got progressively colder. Finally, Navy was pitted against Army for the second match.

Navy took an early lead with the first touchdown of the game and maintained a 17-7 halftime lead. During the second half of the match, Army made a series of last-minute touchdowns and the game ended in a close 23-24 Army win. The final game was between Navy and Air Force. While Air Force gave it their all, Navy claimed a decisive victory thanks the team’s continued determination under the leadership of MIDN 2/C King and MIDN 2/C Sternstein. Army was awarded the Curtis Cup after four straight years of Navy victories. Despite Navy’s loss, spirits were still high and the night ended with a tri-service “ROTC!” cheer. P1000240
MIDN 1/C Hannah Constantakis commented that “the Curtis Cup is always a fun night of competition, athleticism, and rivalry. Although it was a tough loss to Army, it was great to have the company together!”

The Boston University Curtis Cup tradition not only fosters teamwork and sportsmanship, but provides an opportunity for Cadets and Midshipmen alike to bond over a night of football. Even those who chose not to play watched the game from the sidelines and cheered on

their comrades. Navy may not have taken home the Cup this year, but we certainly gained other things: a belly full of pizza, a heightened sense of community, and the (rare) chance to be humbled.

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Written by MIDN 3/c Beryl Fisher

Norwich Levy Challenge

DSC_1316 The reality of the military is somber; brave men die protecting ideals by which we live and craft our society from. One of these men includes 2nd Lt. Walter N. Levy (USMC), a Norwich University graduate who was KIA (Killed In Action) in September 18th, 1968 whilst operating in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam. The Walter N. Levy Challenge was established to honor Lt. Levy’s name, providing participants the opportunity to push themselves to meet, and then surpass their physical limits.

Competitors from various schools along the New England neighborhood gather at Norwich University to take part in an event like no other. The Old Ironsides Battalion was represented by two teams and an individual, composed by MIDN 2/c Schott, MIDN 2/c Frayne-Reixa, MIDN 2/c Fulton, MIDN 3/c de la Ossa, MIDN 3/c McCoy, MIDN 3/c Gurung, MIDN 3/c Lopez, MIDN 4/c Bourget and MIDN 4/c Holmes. MIDN Schott, McCoy, de la Ossa and Gurung composed the MIT Team, while MIDN Fulton, Lopez, Bourget and Holmes made up the BU Team, while MIDN Frayne did it individually establishing our Battalion’s Marine Option presence.DSC_1294

Participants, competing individually or in teams of four, begin their journey with a 1-mile ruck march up and down a mountain with a 60-lbs rucksack on their backs. Once getting rid of the rucks, participants ran to the next stage involving a lap of carrying either a sandbag (for individuals) or a stretcher with a team-member lying down. Following this stage, a swift jog lead to the Marine Corps O-Course, involving a pull ups, low crawl, log jumps, rope climb, hiking up a short, yet steep hill with two ammo cans, target shooting and then running back through the rest of the course which involved low crawl and logs. Following the O-Course, a water-resupply evolution demanded individuals to carry water jugs around a basketball court; each person had to carry one. More pull ups and bear crawls led to more challenges, but perhaps the obstacle participants will remember the most would be the low crawl in the muddy, 50 OF water for about 15 yards. Following that, a long walk in a river- Yes, IN a river- provided competitors an opportunity to refresh themselves in the nippy water. After a refreshing mile-long stroll in the water, participants were given rubber-ducks (toy guns, in this case M16 rifles) and hiked up what seemed like a never ending hill. Upon completion of this hike, participants were given a memento, a device that would allow them to complete the challenge, this case being a dog-tag.

The completion of the challenge meant the completion of a 7.5 mile obstacle course, but in a deeper sense, it meant honoring one of the countless men and women that have suffered the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve the United States. A simple 7.5 mile, 2.5 hour endurance course does not compare to the real challenges faced in the battlefield, in which Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen go days without rest. It is but an opportunity to better gaze the reality of the military; the reality that servicemen and women are guaranteed a ticket to leave the homeland, but sometimes it can be a one-way trip.

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By MIDN 3/c Juan Lopez

Photo Credit: LT Blair/ MIDN 2/c Frayne

Hail to GySgt. Askew

P1000182This semester the Boston NROTC Consortium welcomes the new Assistant Marine Officer Instructor, Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Askew.  From his hometown of Alexander City, Alabama, Askew enlisted into the Marine Corps and graduated from USMC Recruit Depot Parris Island.  He was contracted out of Marine Combat Training as a Financial Management Resource Analyst (MOS 3451).  Askew’s first duty station was Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. on 8th and I.  In 2007 he volunteered to deploy to Iraq.  There he served in a rifle platoon as a fire team leader and picked up the rank of Sergeant.  While overseas he was involved with population engagements, vehicle checkpoints, and security patrols.

Following his tour in Iraq, GySgt Askew attended Drill Instructor School and went on to make new Marines in 3rd Recruit Training Battalion on Parris Island, the true blue.  Moving from Mike Company as a Drill Instructor to Lima Company as the Chief Drill Instructor Askew once again excelled in his duties as a Marine.  He believes that discipline is the key to transforming a recruit into a Marine.  With discipline come all other traits that a basically trained Marine needs to serve in the Corps.  As a DI, Askew says it was a more demanding job training recruits on PI than was his tour in Iraq.

After Parris Island GySgt Askew moved on to Virginia Beach, Virginia where he served in his former MOS of Financial Manager with the Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group (MCSCG).

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GySgt. Askew speaking to the 4/c at Orientation.

GySgt Askew played an essential role in training the incoming 4/c this year during their Indoctrination into NROTC and is excited to be a part of the Boston Consortium. When asked what drives him to succeed he simply says he is “highly motivated, highly dedicated. Semper Fi do or die.”

Written by MIDN 2/c Bobby Conkey

Hail to Major Hritz

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Maj. Hritz was an integral part of Freshmen Orientation this past August.

The Boston NROTC Consortium is excited to welcome Major Michael Hritz as the new Marine Officer Instructor for the Battalion. After being commissioned from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, Maj. Hritz completed TBS and flight school, earning his aviator wings in September 2005. As a CH-46E pilot, he received orders to HMM-161 and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying casualty evacuation and general support missions as well as serving as the Adjutant and Logistics Officer for the squadron. In 2009, Maj. Hritz reported to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, serving as a forward air controller when deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon completing the transition to flying the KC-130J in 2010, he reported to VMGR-252 as the Quality Assurance and Assistant Maintenance Officer. Maj. Hritz deployed as the Maintenance Officer in support of the 24th MEU, and also served several stints as the Maintenance Officer for Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response. Personal decorations include: the Air Medal (7 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3 awards), and Combat Action Ribbon.P1000181

Maj. Hritz was an integral part of the staff for 4/c Orientation this year, and provided valuable advice and guidance for midshipmen staff and freshmen alike. He believes that “freshmen orientation was a complete success as we took these recent high school graduates and introduced them to the program. I am fully confident that they will be able to begin the school year as basically functioning midshipmen.”

An avid foodie, Maj. Hritz will be pursuing graduate studies in Gastronomy at Boston University. He is looking forward to sampling Boston’s many culinary delights.

Written by Midn 2/c Carolyn Pushaw

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