The Boston Naval ROTC Consortium, comprised of Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Tufts University, came together to celebrate the Navy and Marine Corps birthdays on November 15th at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MA. The entire event was a success due to the efforts of MIDN 2/c Carolena Ruprecht and the midshipmen that assisted her.
The night began with cocktail hour on the 14th floor with a stunning view overlooking the Charles River and downtown Boston. From there, midshipmen, unit staff members, and guests moved downstairs to the Presidential Ballroom where the ceremony, dinner, and dancing would complete this special evening. The ceremony included the posting of the colors and sword detail, the description of the POW/MIA table, and the cutting of the birthday cake. “I really enjoyed the ceremony – it was cool seeing the traditional aspect of the Navy birthday, and the whole event was put together very well,” said MIDN 4/c Catherine Senoyuit of Boston College.
The guest of honor was Colonel Todd Desgrosseilliers, former Commanding Officer of The Basic School and graduate of Boston University. Among the many accolades he has received in his years in the Marine Corps, Desgrosseilliers was awarded the Silver Star in 2006 for his heroic actions in Fallujah, Iraq.
His speech touched on many qualities a great leader should seek to possess but one that he focused on was genuine concern for the men and woman a person leads. Desgrosseilliers also discussed the importance of remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of freedom and justice. He told midshipmen to “stand on the shoulders” of fallen Sailors and Marines and to let their actions be the inspiration to be the best and work hard in every aspect of the job. One Marine that stood out in his mind was Lance Corporal Colin Wolfe, a 19 year old who was killed by a road side bomb in Iraq in 2006. Desgrosseilliers wanted to put a face to the idea of honoring the fallen and said he often thinks Wolfe and his family. Desgrosseilliers concluded his speech with a reading of the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which brings him comfort and inspiration in times of trouble.
The 2014 Birthday Ball is an event the entire Consortium looks forward to every year. This year’s ball was a fun evening for all who attended and the Consortium was fortunate to have Desgrosseilliers as the guest speaker to share his wisdom with future Navy and Marine Corps officers.
Written by MIDN 2/c Katrina Longest