2018 Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball

The Birthday Ball is a time honored tradition in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Boston Consortium and ROTC units in general have the unique position of having both Navy and Marine Corps midshipmen and therefore hold the Birthday Ball between the Navy Birthday of October 13th and Marine Corps Birthday of November 10th. Birthday Ball is a way to celebrate another year of success, sacrifice, and service. It is held to think of those who are forward deployed who may not be able to join in on the festivities that year and to remember those who we’ve lost who will not participate in a Navy or Marine Corps Birthday again. Often, there is one rule for Birthday Ball: have fun—if not for yourself, then for those who can’t be there.

This year’s Ball was held on the 3rd of November at the United States Coast Guard Base Boston. Midshipmen and staff from both sides of the Charles River trickled in and joined together for cocktail hour and mingled before the ceremony, catching up with those they possibly don’t see often enough. The ceremony commenced and the traditions were rolled out in customary fashion. Senior midshipmen entered the ballroom one by one as their names and new service selections were announced. A room full of midshipmen stood at attention as the National Anthem was sung with heavier implication than usual. The cake was brought out and sliced with a sword. The youngest Navy midshipman was handed a piece of cake from the oldest Navy personnel present. The same was done with youngest Marine Corps midshipman and oldest Marine present. This is a tradition passing the knowledge, experience, and reigns of the Navy and Marine Corps from one generation to the next. A message was played from the Commandant of the Marine Corps and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. Another from the CNO and MCPON was played. Both congratulated the members in the room on another successful year, preached strength, and urged remembrance.

The guest speaker, Rear Admiral Christian Boris Becker, a commissioned NFO from Boston University and now head of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, gave the keynote address over dinner. He told midshipmen bits of wisdom, tales of experiences had and lessons learned, along with some dad jokes (which I personally really appreciated).

After finishing a well-prepared meal, midshipmen (and a few staff members) ditched their coats and hit the dance floor; the ceremony was over and it was time to celebrate. It was a time for midshipmen to relax and let their hair down (figuratively of course). Dances resembling exercises of the Navy standard warm up were performed. Midshipmen from the BU side performed a surprisingly impressive line dance. Overall, good times were had, meaningful words were given, and everyone left the ballroom with some pride in our Navy and Marine Corps and a handful of good memories. Happy birthday, Navy and Marine Corps. 243 never looked so good.

By MIDN 2/C Rodriquez

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SFS FEX 1: 4/C Perspective

The FEX on the weekend of October 12 was an experience we will never forget. It taught us many valuable lessons and skills, such as land navigation and weapons handling, and brought us closer to our fellow midshipmen. As 4/C on our first field exercise, we were very nervous because we did not know exactly what to expect. However, walking away from this experience, we gained confidence in our capabilities and a sense of pride in completing the weekend.

Upon arriving, we joined with PLC candidates and Yale ROTC midshipmen, setting up our tents and being issued our rifles for the weekend. It was a short night in preparation for the long day that was fast approaching. We slept in our tents with our land navigation partners, taking turns performing fire watch, or guard duty, for an hour to track the events of the night. Mustering at 0445, we began our day with a 7.4-mile ruck.

The ruck was by no means easy, but it brought our platoon together as we enjoyed the beauty of the brisk, rainy autumn day. After our ruck, we went right into land navigation, learning the fundamentals of compass use by finding points spread throughout the forest. However, as we wrapped up our training in location finding, we seem to have forgotten how to keep track of people as a midshipman went missing in the woods for a short while.

After we found our fellow midshipman, we went into Fire Team on the Offensive (FITO) practice. In this exercise, we put our knowledge of fire team formations and hand signals to the test, trekking through the woods to fulfill a series of simulated objectives. This segment of the weekend was awesome because it brought us outside of the classroom for some hands-on learning and gave us personal experience with combat leadership. Also, it was awesome to use blanks and understand more of what it means to be a rifleman.

We finished our first full day with some meticulous weapons cleaning, learning how important it is to take care of the little things. We scrubbed and brushed for an hour or so, earning our sleep for the night.

On the final day, SFS took on the Fire Team Challenge designed by the MOI and AMOI. Using simunition (paint) rounds, fire teams competed against one another to clear a village of the enemy hostile: MIDN 1/C Gosselin. The event was competitive in nature but ended with many laughs and good memories, representative of the weekend as a whole.

From the moment of “Get out of the van!” to the final rifle being turned in to the armory, the weekend was jam packed with adrenaline-filled events and activities. There was never a moment to waste. Physically draining, the FEX left 12 sound-asleep midshipmen returning to Boston.

The weekend put our initial nerves to rest, as we laughed and learned about life as a Marine alongside our brothers and sisters. It was a tiring, but exciting experience that left us with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. We had completed the FEX and represented ourselves well in the application of the things we learn each week. Now, we hold on to optimism and excitement for the many field exercises left in our future.

By MIDN 4/C Tolo and MIDN 4/C Eppers

Curtis Cup

Cadets and Midshipmen crowded around the edges of New Balance Field on the night of 21SEP2018 to cheer on their players in the annual Curtis Cup. A flag football game, the Cup consists of three interservice rivalry games played between Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC participants at Boston University.

Students had the opportunity to represent their branch of service on the field in a fun and competitive environment. Pizza was provided for the enjoyment of both players and supporters.

The event kicked off with the Air Force vs. Army matchup. Army Cadets sported face paint and chanted from the sidelines with each play. A sign was posted by Air Force reading “Army and Navy play for second.”

With Army beating Air Force in the first game, they had to beat Navy to take home this year’s win. The Army vs. Navy game began with much anticipation. Navy held strong on the offensive until an interception was throw, giving Army the lead. Navy was able to come back briefly, swapping points with Army for the duration of the match, but lost in the end.

MIDN 1/C Singley, the BU/MIT NROTC Battalion Commander, paced the sideline of the game with large BOSE headphones reminiscent of those worn by NFL coaching staff. A sign supposedly depicting play calls was held up, containing images of Captain Jack Sparrow and the poster for the film Top Gun.

With Army winning the Cup, Navy still had to play Air Force in a fifteen minute half to determine second place. Navy and Air Force played well against each other, but Navy did not manage to come out on top when the whistle was called.

Navy won the Curtis Cup last year and were reluctant to give up the title, but are looking to the future after this year’s loss. “We had a lot of young 4/C out there excited to play. Good to see the enthusiasm in the future looking towards next year,” said MIDN 3/C Shortal, this year’s team captain.

Despite the loss, Navy ended the night on a high note in a huddle of Midshipmen chanting: “One, two, three, Navy.”

MIDN 4/C Patterson said of the event: “I really enjoyed the camaraderie within the company. We may not have won, but we definitely had the best support.”

By MIDN 3/C Pavón

Hail to LT Butcher

The Boston ROTC Consortium is proud to welcome aboard LT Blane “B-lan-ay” Butcher! LT Butcher hails from Cleveland, OH. He attended Cornell University where he participated in ROTC, graduated with a Bachelor in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and commissioned as an Ensign in May of 2012.

LT Butcher began Aviation Preflight Indoctrination in June 2012 at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, FL. From there, he reported to Training Squadron Twenty-Seven (VT-27 Boomers) in Corpus Chrisi, TX, for primary flying the T-34C. After choosing to pursue helicopters, LT Butcher began advanced training in July 2013 with the HT-28 Helions flying the TH-57 Sea Ranger. Shortly thereafter, he received his wings in February of 2014.

LT Butcher then went on to Airborne Mine Countermeasures Weapon System Training School (AWSTS) in Norfolk, VA, in March 2014 for fleet replacement training in the MH-53E Sea Dragon. After completion of AWSTS, he was assigned to the HM-15 Blackhawks.

With the Blackhawks, LT Butcher served 13-months in Bahrain over two tours in Fifth Fleet to support Commander Task Force 52. As a Division Officer, LT Butcher, in addition to flying, worked largely in maintenance, where he appreciated the leadership heavy role.

When it comes to the Aviation, LT Butcher liked how small and tight knit the community is. “You know the wardroom for the entire community well,” he said. Even more so, he appreciates the members of the community that fly and maintain the MH-53, remarking that “it’s a labor of love” and that they keep wanting to come back.

At the MIT Unit, LT Butcher will fill a number of roles including 4/C advisor, teaching both Intro to Naval Science and Sea Power, ASTB and swim test administrator, cross-town liaison, helping out with Aviation club, and recruiting. He is also pursuing a Masters in supply chain management at MIT.

In his free time, LT Butcher enjoys skiing and is looking forward to winter and the mountains in the area (he has the Epic Pass). He also likes to run and is a self-described foodie.

By MIDN 2/C Rodriquez

Hail to LT Englert

The Boston NROTC Consortium is excited to welcome aboard LT Kerri Englert this semester! She is the 4/C advisor and instructor of Seapower and Maritime Affairs for the BU side. Her other responsibilities include acting as Recruiting Officer and Academics Officer. LT Englert is also working towards her MA in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Sciences at Boston University.

LT Englert hails from Las Vegas, Nevada. She attended the University of San Diego graduating in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Science and service selection as an NFO. After graduation, she headed to NAS Pensacola for API, IFS, and primary flight training. Selected to go P-8’s, LT Englert went to Jacksonville to VP-30, a Fleet Replacement Squadron. From there, she joined the “Fighting Tigers” of VP-8. LT Englert was deployed to Okinawa twice and to several detachments in the Philippines, Thailand, Diego Garcia, and Singapore. She is qualified as a mission commander and NFO instructor.

For LT Englert, one of the best things about the Navy is the people, and she values the professional relationships and friendships that she has made throughout her career. One of her fondest memories is the day she qualified as a tactical coordinator on the P-8 and got a bucket of water dumped on her by her fellow sailors in celebration and congratulation of this great accomplishment.

With her many achievements and wide array of experiences, LT Englert has a lot to offer the Battalion. She is more than happy to lend an ear and give advice. Her greatest tip for midshipmen is to “take time for yourself.” Keeping up with academic and ROTC demands can be difficult, so LT Englert suggests finding stress relief and enjoyment in other interests and hobbies. For LT Englert, she likes to read, go for runs, and travel. She is also an avid figure skater having previously skated competitively for seven years.

LT Englert looks forward to working with and motivating midshipmen. She will no doubt have a positive and powerful impact on the Battalion.

By MIDN 2/C Kowker

Battalion Welcome BBQ

On Saturday September 8th, the Battalion hosted a 4/C sailing training followed by a barbecue to welcome the new students and kick off the year with a friendly, fun event.

A group of upperclassmen volunteers from both sides of the river converged at the BU sailing pavilion to teach the 4/C basic lessons in rules of the road and how to rig a sail boat. The experienced volunteers then took groups of midshipmen out on the Charles river and helped them try their hand at sailing.

Following the sailing was a motivational 5k run.

Once the runners returned, the hamburgers and hotdogs were waiting on the lawn by the BU ROTC Unit. Organized by MIDN 1/C Person, a host of students helped set up tables, brought games and music, and cooked food to make the barbecue a success.

Unit staff also came with their families and it was a wonderful chance to get to know other members of the battalion in a comfortable setting.

Here’s to a great start of the semester!

Spring 2018 Change of Command

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The Change of Command ceremony is a time honored tradition in the Navy. Representing a formal transfer of authority from one person to another, the ceremony ensures that the unit and its sailors are never without leadership, or uncertain as to who their leader is. As Midshipmen, the biannual Change of Command ceremony is, for many, the first time they will bear witness to such an event. However, this is by no means the last time they will see one.

Looking sharp in summer whites, all of Boston Consortium NROTC, Midshipmen and officers alike, watched as MIDN 1/C Brewer exchanged command over the Battalion with MIDN 2/C Singley. With the simple words of “I am ready to be relieved,” spoken by MIDN 1/C Brewer, the transfer of authority over the Battalion began. The transfer to MIDN 2/C Singley’s authority was signified by the passing of a flag from the former Battalion Commander to the new.

The new Battalion Commander, MIDN 2/C Singley, spoke briefly on his goals next semester for the Battalion following the ceremony. He plans to continue some of the changes implemented by MIDN 1/C Brewer in the previous semester, but will be making changes of his own, ones he believes will lead the Battalion in an even better direction than before.

Awards were given to select Midshipmen following the Change of Command ceremony to celebrate the their accomplishments during the semester. Special guests representing many different groups honored Midshipmen with gifts such as scholarships, novels, and dress swords.  

This Change of Command ceremony signaled the end of the year for Midshipmen and the start of a well-deserved vacation, and for many, summer cruise. Change of Command is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the Battalion, and look forward to what will come next. Food and refreshments were served after the ceremony concluded, allowing Midshipmen had one last opportunity to say goodbye to their friends and classmates before they went their separate ways for the summer.

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Written by MIDN 4/C Pavón, photos by Ms. Phyllis Norwood

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