29 Jan 2015
Cambridge, MA – The MIT Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unveiled its new high tech teaching lab at the Joint Military Simulator (JMS) opening ceremony. In addition to members of the MIT ROTC community, the ceremony was attended by Dean Dennis Freeman, Dean for Undergraduate Education, and Colonel (retired) William Cavanaugh, a member of the MIT Alumni Fund Committee. The JMS was made possible through a grant provided by the Department of Undergraduate Education and the Alumni Class Funds. Dean Freeman is pleased to support ROTC training and states, “The capabilities of this facility fit well with MIT’s vision of its future, as articulated by the recent Presidential Task Force on the Future of Education at MIT.”
The JMS will provide supplemental training to the ROTC curriculum and enhance the leadership and military skills training of future officers commissioned through the MIT ROTC program. Naval ROTC midshipmen and cadets from Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC will be able to train with software developed by the respective military services designed for ship handling, command and control, and small unit leadership and tactics. MIDN Faith Huynh, a sophomore Aerospace Engineering major at MIT, is excited to use the Mariner Skills Simulator (MSS) component of the lab and commented about the ceremony, “CAPT Benke and Dean Freeman’s opening words really highlighted the utility and opportunity that we are being given.” MSS creates a virtual ship handling environment for students that enhances maritime navigation and bridge resource management skills for future naval officers. The JMS is a joint effort between staff members of the Naval Science, Military Science, and Aerospace Studies departments and is located in building W59.
On the evening of Saturday, Februrary 7th, members of the BU Navy, Army, and Air Force ROTC military branches gathered together for the annual Boston University Joint Service Ball. Distinguished guests included faculty from Boston University, such as Dr. Anna Hohler and Reverend Dr. Robert Allan Hill. The commanding officers from the ROTC units, CAPT Steven Benke, LTC Paul Whitmore, and MAJ James Mitchell, were also in attendance.
The event commenced at 1800 as midshipmen, cadets, officers, and enlisted personnel mingled and sampled the excellent appetizers during cocktail hour in the George Sherman Union. At 1930, the 1/C formed a receiving line into the Metcalf Ballroom to greet the officers and special guests. When everybody had taken their seats, the colors were posted and the master of ceremonies, cadet Andrew Irvine of AFROTC, began the toasts. At the end of the ceremony, the midshipman and cadets of the class of the 2015 were recognized. Applause and “hooyahs” filled the room as midshipman 2/C Ashley Potts introduced the senior midshipmen according to what community they will enter upon commissioning. The 1/C midshipmen include: Andrew Bates, Karly Boettcher, Hannah Constantakis, Josh Dalva, Alexander Hayden, Braydon Hummeldorf, Paul Kim, Akshat Patel, Elizabeth Shaffer, and Sarah Verille. These exceptional midshipmen will commission in May as Ensigns in the Navy and 2nd Lieutenants in the Marine Corps.
While the occasion was certainly a joyous one, it also served to commemorate the dedicated POWs and MIAs who were unable to join in the celebration. We remember them not only with an empty table, but also with our commitment to serve as they did.
The evening progressed as dinner was served and dance moves were busted on the dance floor. Midshipman 3/C Kaminski says that it was a “fun-filled night of camaraderie between all of the ROTC branches.” All in all, the Joint Service Ball was a success and will be remembered by all as an evening of good food and even better company.
By MIDN 3/C Beryl Fisher