MIT students moving about campus on the evening of October 26 this year were startled by an unusual sound – Howitzer fire. The thirteen-gun salute honored Major General Boera, the reviewing officer for this year’s Pass in Review at the MIT Corps of Cadets. Cadets and midshipmen from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force stood and marched in formation during the formal ceremony, which featured remarks from Captain Benke, Dean Dennis Freeman, and Major General Buera.
The Navy battalion was represented by its MIT Company, with students from MIT, Harvard, and Tufts participating. Midshipman Mic Byrne, the battalion commander, called commands for the company during the review, while several other future sailors and marines participated in color guard, overall coordination, and regimental staff portions of the event.
This pass in review ceremony is traditionally conducted at the end of the year, but the ceremony last spring was cancelled due to the April 15th bombings. However, the ceremony this October showcased students and instructors holding their heads high, coming out Boston Strong to support their units.
The ceremony began with the marching on of troops, followed by the playing of the national anthem. Honors were rendered to Major General Boera. Captain Steven Benke, Professor of Naval Science; Dennis Freeman, dean of undergraduate students; and Major General Boera gave their remarks. General Boera praised the midshipmen and cadets present and spoke on the importance of the United States military, turning at the beginning of his speech to make sure the students could hear him.
The ceremony concluded with a pass in review of the troops as the commanders marched their units around the field and rendered salutes to the general. Following the ceremony, pictures of the entire MIT corps of cadets were taken. Finally, all participants and audience members were invited to a reception.
The event was an important reminder of the ultimate goal of students in ROTC – commissioning as officers in the United States military. It was an impressive ceremony, and it also provided an opportunity for freshmen and upperclassmen to bond in a more informal atmosphere and for students from different branches of ROTC to mingle.
Because the pass in review took place during the MIT parents’ weekend, many of the students’ families were able to come out and see the units at their finest and to meet some of their children’s comrades and teachers. Overall, the ceremony was a great way to increase camaraderie among the students and to give the parents both an opportunity to informally mingle and to see the unit at its covered, aligned, and disciplined best – with perhaps a few flinches the first time the Howitzers went off.
Written by: MIDN 4/c Lauren Mandaville