Category Archives: BU Company

BU Joint Service Military Ball

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On 24FEB2018, over one hundred Midshipmen, Cadets, Officers, and their guests joined together in the Metcalf Hall on the Boston University campus. The BU Joint Service Military Ball is an annual event held to celebrate the United States Military, its servicemembers, and the soon-to-be commissioned officers from the Boston University ROTC programs. Other than the Pass in Review in the fall, the Military Ball is the only time annually that all ROTC branches of service come together and celebrate their love and passion for the military.

The Ball began at 1800 with a reception including drinks and light refreshments before dinner. By 1830, BU’s very own Joint Guard marched to the center of the room. A representative from each branch–Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps–stood at attention with the proper thousand-yard stare while the crowd had the opportunity to take pictures and pose with the members of the Guard.

MIDN 4/C Yaeger wrote in a message, “Having never really interacted with the other BU ROTC branches, it was nice to see everyone together.”

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Guests eventually moved into the main ballroom for the official start of the ball. The room was elegantly decorated, featuring seating cards with each guests’ name and the seal for his/her respective branch of service printed on the front. In the middle of the room, a large projector screen displayed photographs of the members of all branches of service completing summer training and having fun at ROTC-related events. The main slides were senior spotlights, highlighting the accomplishments of each branch’s seniors and listing their name, major, and what they will be doing upon their commissioning in the spring. MIDN 3/C Morgan Longo said about the event, “It was cool to see what all the seniors are doing and seeing their success.”

A few words were spoken to commemorate the event before everyone stood respectfully to welcome the joint-service color guard as it presented the colors of the United States and its service branches in the front of the room. The Prisoner of War and Missing in Action ceremony followed. A small table covered with a white tablecloth sat alone in the center of the room. Cadets and Midshipmen came forward around the table, placing covers for each branch of service in their respective place. At the table, the glasses were then inverted, representing those who could not toast with their comrades that evening. A meager meal of a lemon slice and salt was present on each plate, reminding the room of the bitter fate of all POW and those MIA, and the tears of their families.

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Dinner followed suit, with salad, an option of pasta or steak, and dessert. Afterwards, a Cadet and Midshipman from each branch came to the front of the room to celebrate the accomplishments of their graduating seniors, and soon to be 2nd Lieutenants and Ensigns. Members of the crowd cheered loudly, banged on tables, and clapped with much enthusiasm as Cadet and Midshipman names were proudly called aloud. MIDN 2/C Russo wrote in a message that she “really enjoyed celebrating the seniors achievements and experiencing the joint comradery.”

With the formal ceremonies of the night concluded, Cadets, Midshipmen, and their guests took to the dance floor to continue enjoying the evening. While it is true that there is much competition between every service branch, at the end of the day, they all come together as the one joint team that is the United States Military. All taking the same Oath of Office upon commissioning; regardless of branch, regardless of competition, there is a sense of camaraderie that pervades through it all. The annual BU Joint Service Military Ball captures that sense of camaraderie. MIDN 3/C Mason, a Marine-Option Midshipman, captured the importance and purpose of the event, saying, “It’s a night I won’t soon forget.”

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Article by MIDN 4/C Pavon, Photographs by MIDN 3/C Mason

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Boston University NROTC Holds Commissioning Ceremony

BOSTON, Massachusetts. (May 18, 2015) – Ten Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen and Marines were commissioned as naval officers at the Hillel House on Boston University’s campus.

The eight Navy-option and two Marine-option Boston University and Boston College NROTC students were recognized by the guest of honor, Captain Christopher Simpson, USMC, in front of an audience of more than two hundred people before entering military service. These newly commissioned officers will serve around the globe in a variety of military occupational specialties including aviation, surface warfare, submarine warfare and Marine Corps air and ground.

Commissioned as ensigns were, Andrew Bates, Hannah Constantakis, Joshua Dalva, Alexander Hayden, Braydon Hummeldorf, Akshat Patel, Elizabeth Shaffer, and Sarah Verille. Commissioned as 2nd lieutenants were, Karly Boettcher and Paul Sean-Woo Kim. All were commissioned by officers of their choosing.

Captain Simpson delivered his address to the audience and gave resonating advice to the new ensigns and 2nd lieutenants. He stressed the importance of caring for one’s people, offering the wisdom that “it’s not about you anymore,” and that the future ensigns and 2nd lieutenants will always have to put their people first. Captain Simpson is preparing to take command of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and he has previously served in three combat tours in Iraq, one as a Lance Corporal and two as an officer after obtaining his commission through OCS. Captain Simpson has also served as the Executive Officer of Recruiting Station New Jersey, and was the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Captain Steve Benke, Commanding Officer of the Boston NROTC Consortium, remarked that it was a “wonderful opportunity to watch these ensigns grow over the last 3 years, and it was “very exciting to see their first step” into the Fleet.

Ensign Hannah Constantakis, a new surface warfare officer who will report aboard the USS San Diego in San Diego, California, reflected on her journey through NROTC, saying “I’m going to miss the close knit community I had in ROTC. Every year we’ve grown stronger together, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and contributing what we can to make our team the best it can be. We all come from different backgrounds, but together we’ve made something really special. Although it’s sad to be leaving, I’ll always hold our memories in a special place and I look forward to future positive communities in the fleet.”

Christopher Hayden, father of Ensign Alexander Hayden, proclaimed praise for these new ensigns, noting that he was “super proud of what these guys represent” and that after getting “the best education, they will surely be successful in their pursuits.”

Lieutenant Jonathan Blair, who served as the officer-in-charge for the senior commissioning, said that it was a “heartfelt and touching” ceremony, encapsulated by “excellent speeches” by all parties. Overall, the commissioning at Boston University was a memorable event for all and marks the beginning of an important journey for the new ensigns and 2nd lieutenants. Fair winds and following seas to the Class of 2015.

The NROTC program, overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.

For more information about NROTC, visit https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/. For more information about NSTC, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/nstc/ or visit the NSTC Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/NavalServiceTraining/.

By Midshipman Sean J. Spata

Admiral Harris Speaks to BU-MIT NROTC Midshipmen

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By Midshipman 4th Class Zach Litwin, BU-MIT NROTC

BOSTON (Apr. 28, 2015)—“Attention on deck! Admiral Harris on deck. Good morning, sir.” This week, Midshipmen from Boston Consortium NROTC unit received a visit from Admiral Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Admiral addressed the 1/C as well as a number of other Midshipmen and Unit Staff.

A visit from an Admiral is a rare occasion in any forum, so those who attended were fortunate to have such an amazing opportunity in a small-group setting. Admiral Harris has 41 years of training and operational experience. He graduated the United States Naval Academy in 1978 and became a naval flight officer. In addition to his strong educational background, Admiral Harris has significant and diverse operational and staff experiences upon which he based his remarks and advice to the Midshipmen and Staff.

In his address, the Admiral strongly urged those present to “be the best that you can be wherever you go” because much can be learned from every experience. He stressed that mentors and a positive attitude are of great value when planning and completing difficult assignments and added that “you can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”

When discussing his philosophy for leadership and training, the Admiral focused on balancing priorities and maximizing the two vectors of mission success: “smarts” and “motivation.”

One of the Midshipmen asked “What can Midshipmen do during their time in NROTC to prepare themselves for their future careers in the Navy?” Admiral Harris responded, “I think you can learn how to work together” and stressed that teamwork involves both receiving and giving help.

“It’s a team sport, and you’re going to have to carry each other,” said Harris.

The Admiral went on to further discuss the important role of diversity in the Navy and its positive effects on teams and organizations. He emphasized that today’s diverse Navy represents impressive improvements from the past but reminded the Midshipmen that more work lies ahead.

When asked about the visit, MIDN 1/C Klatt from MIT commented, “Admiral Harris gave us a lot of advice, and I think everyone in attendance benefited greatly from his visit.”

While the Boston Consortium is lucky to have access to excellent guest speakers from many different backgrounds, the BU and MIT Midshipmen and Staff were especially grateful for this extraordinary in-person visit by one of the nation’s highest ranking and most experienced military officers.

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Spring 2015 Change of Command

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By Midshipman 4th Class Garrett Gozdur, BU NROTC Unit

BU-MIT NROTC Midshipman Battalion Change of Command

BOSTON (Apr. 29, 2015) – Another semester full of rewarding activities has come to an end. Today, MIDN 1/C Forsey relinquished his battalion commander position to MIDN 2/C Holcomb.

A lot of preparation went into the ceremony; Midn 1/C Boettcher and MIDN 2/C Conkey, Commander of Troops and Parade Adjutant respectively, executed it successfully under Gunnery Sergeant Askew’s guidance. The ceremony consisted of several parts, all designed to mimic a change of command in the fleet.

Following an awards ceremony for those going above and beyond, the Parade Adjutant assembled the battalion and the color guard presented the national ensign for the National Anthem. The platoon commanders and staff then marched to the center, where the commanding officers issued the orders and instructions to the unit commanders.

The most significant part of the ceremony was the transferring of the guide-ons. The CMC assisted in the passing on of the MIT and BU guide-ons from MIDN Forsey to MIDN Holcomb. The passing of the guide-ons signified the transfer of total responsibility, authority, and accountability for the midshipmen battalion.

Captain Benke remarked on the successes of the semester and wished everyone luck, both to the seniors as they commission and to everyone else preparing to train with the fleet on summer cruises.

In MIDN Forsey’s speech, he commented on the difficulties of the semester with the large amounts of snow, but was happy with its successes. After the ceremony, MIDN Forsey said, “I want to thank all my staff for the hard work they put in. I’m excited for MIDN Holcomb and his new team and can’t wait to hear how they do next year.”

MIDN Holcomb set out his expectations after receiving command of the battalion. His vision for next semester is to focus on ethical decision-making, open and efficient communication, and interaction with current Navy and Marine Corps personnel. “Making these three things priorities will help us to most effectively train and prepare for leadership, in the fleet and in our everyday lives,” he said.

MIDN Holcomb finished with a nod to the previous staff:  “The seniors gave us really big shoes to fill, but I’m excited about what we’ve got in store for everyone in the fall.”

We all wish the best for the seniors as they commission and hope that everyone has a great summer.

BU-MIT NROTC Midshipmen Tour of Sikorsky Aircraft Facility

STRATFORD (Apr. 23, 2015) – A select few midshipmen were granted a remarkable opportunity to see where one of the most well-known contemporary aircraft comes into existence.

On the banks of the Housatonic River in Connecticut, you will find the Sikorsky factory; a vast expanse of metal and concrete that can yield a new helicopter every 6 days.  Nestled within the facility were the testing and engineering departments hard at work on the helicopters of tomorrow and improving the ones we use today.

The midshipmen, accompanied by two Naval Aviators and a Sikorsky history specialist, were granted the opportunity to tour the Sikorsky facilities.  The tour began in the archives room with the history of Sikorsky and its founder, Igor Sikorsky.  The archives were filled with replicas of Sikorsky’s life work, from the first multi-engine airplanes to the very first helicopters.  Each replica aircraft building on the last, showing just how progressive and inventive Mr. Sikorsky really was.

Next, the group moved on to the factory floor and was presented with the complex problem of manufacturing a multimillion-dollar aircraft.  Fortunately, Sikorsky provided the solution with their intense automation, precise machining and a stellar crew of engineers and technicians.  Being able to see each part being manufactured and assembled into smaller systems interested the midshipmen, but many wanted to see the finished product.

And so the midshipmen were presented with the final assembly room, where Sikorsky assembles and then puts the final touches on the U.S. Army’s UH-60 Blackhawk and HH-60M Medevac helicopters, as well as the U.S. Navy’s MH-60R Seahawk helicopters.  The midshipmen were impressed with the extreme efficiency of the different assembly technicians and their teams.  It put into perspective the amount of work that goes into these military aircraft.

The final stop led the midshipman to Igor Sikorsky’s office, which brought home the message of the whole tour.  Mr. Sikorsky worked his whole life to bring about a machine intended to save lives.  He dedicated his whole life its development, and even went on to test many of the helicopters and other aircraft himself.  It made the midshipmen step back and realize how amazing these aircraft really were, and the fact that some would be using Mr. Sikorsky’s work to save lives themselves.

For more information about NROTC, visit https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/

By Midshipman 1st Class Connor Humber, MIT NROTC Unit

2015 Beaver Cup Regatta

The Beaver Cup Regatta presented a great opportunity for the classes to interact and practice their sailing, and was entertaining for those who watched and cheered from the sides. Although RPI took home the trophy, Holy Cross and MIT/BU finished second and third respectively.

The weather conditions were far from ideal– with wind at 18 knots and 30-35 knot gusts; however all of the schools had great attitudes about getting out on the water and completing all the planned races.  That being said, many midshipman capsized and fell into the river. The water was 44 degrees and even colder beneath the surface.  The midshipman on the shore found it much more comical than those in the water.

MIDN Burns and Mule developed their barbecue skills by manning the grill and while receiving lots of tutelage from the Lieutenants on how to cook the perfect burger.  Their first tries resulted in a couple of black hotdogs and burgers, but by the end of the regatta they had discovered the proper technique.

MIDN Litwin showed off his sailing skills and performed well in all his races.  He also participated in the individual part of the competition, battling the elements alone.  The wind alternated between little to no to wind and uncontrollable gusts, providing difficult conditions for all boats

All of the team races consisted of two-man teams sailing around buoys and fighting for the lead.  RPI boats 12 and 13 dominated the first heat, taking first and second in both races.  MIDN Litwin and Shaffer came in third for the first heat as the first BU/MIT boat to cross the finish line.

Overall, the event was fun, even with the weather, and fostered good relations and a sense of community between the three units.  The BU midshipmen who attended were able to interact with the MIT side of the river allowing for friendships to be made between the classes but also the two battalions.

By MIDN Laura Palomo

2015 Sheehan Cup

SATURDAY 28 MARCH 2015-The Sheehan Cup took place at Boston University this past Saturday. Despite the frigid weather, teams from each of the university’s ROTC programs competed in athletic challenges during this tri-service event.

The day started with swimming relays and the tire flip. Midshipmen dominated every category of the swim events. A valiant effort was put forth by the Air Force and Army teams.

The squad drill event was a close competition eventually won by Army. Army cadets also won first place in both the Ironman and the Ironwoman competitions. These grueling warrior challenges were composed of buddy carries, pushups, sit-ups, sprints, burpees, ammo can runs, and ammo can presses. All of the participants demonstrated exemplary strength and endurance throughout the event.

Maneuver Under Fire (MANUF) is a standard portion of the USMC Combat Fitness Test (CFT). MANUF consists of a 300-yard shuttle run with combat-related tasks including crawls, buddy carries, buddy drags, ammo can runs, agility running, and a grenade throw. The fastest time on this course was run by an Army cadet, while Marine options took second- and third-place finishes.

The final event of the day, which turned out to be perhaps the most competitive, was the tug-of-war. After several contentious rounds, Air Force cadets took first place.

Overall points were determined by team results in each event; three points were given for first place, two for second, and three for third. After a string of Army victories, the Naval ROTC program won the overall competition for the first time.