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.
Midshipmen and cadets from all three branches of the MIT ROTC units came together on Friday, March 6, for the annual MIT Joint Service Ball at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After enjoying the reception that commenced at 1830, everyone filed into the ballroom and remained standing for the procession of the head table lead by Cadet Farrow. The procession included the commanding officers from the ROTC units, CAPT Steven Benke, LTC Peter Godfrin, and LtCol Karen Dillard. MIDN 3/C Huynh and MIDN 4/C Graves represented the Navy in the color guard detail. The evening then progressed with the National Anthem, invocation, and formal toasts.
The night of fun and celebration took a more somber tone when it was time to remember the POWs and MIAs who could not be there. We commemorated them with an empty table laid with the covers of each service and with the POW and MIA toast, led by MIDN 1/C Johnson.
The guest speaker of the night, Staff Sergeant Kevin Flike, a U.S. Army retired Green Beret, gave an inspirational speech that spoke to the value of never giving up on others or on yourself by sharing his own combat experience in Afghanistan. He told those in attendance that if you look back on your life with regret, you need to make changes going forward.
After SSG Flike’s passionate speech, the midshipmen and cadets of the class of 2015 were announced along with their service assignments. The 1/C midshipmen include MIDN 1/C Chen, MIDN 1/C Forsey, MIDN 1/C Humber, MIDN 1/C Johnson, MIDN 1/C Klatt, MIDN 1/C McCoy, MIDN 1/C Reytblat, and MIDN 1/C Saldivar. This was followed by the awarding of the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and the retiring of the colors. Everyone enjoyed the fabulous dinner and moved out on the dance floor at the conclusion of the ceremony. Ultimately, the Joint Service Ball was a great success—everyone enjoyed a night of food, dancing, and celebration with all three branches.
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
On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, the Tufts University ROTC units came together on the Medford/Somerville campus to pay tribute to all service members past and present. The traditional passing of the flag ceremony was held on Memorial Steps lead by 1/c Midshipman Vadim Reyblat. Cadets and midshipmen alike proceeded gradually up the steps passing a folded American flag to one another to the flag recipient, retired United States Air Force Major Greg Arabian who graduated from Tufts University in 1954. The ceremony included a performance from the oldest all female Tufts University a cappella group, the Jackson Jills, who did a wonderful rendition of “America the Beautiful”.
Service members that came to view the event include Commander Jan Scislowicz, Executive Officer of Boston NROTC, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Godfrin, head of Boston AROTC, and retired Army Major Gresh Lattimore who is the Chair of Advocates for Tufts ROTC. After the ceremony there was reception in the Coolidge room of Ballou Hall. The reception included speeches by Dean James M. Glaser who is a strong advocate for ROTC at Tufts University. The main speaker was retired United States Marine Corps Captain Ben Sands who graduated from Tufts University in 1954. His inspiring speech went through the highlights of his time in the military and the brave service men and women who he met along the way.
MIDN 4/c Keith Henzer said after the ceremony, “To be able to participate in this occasion really makes me appreciate the sacrifices American service members made for my freedom.” Army Cadet Gaby Luiselli said, “When I walked up the steps today, it was truly humbling and inspiring. I am honored to be here and a member of Army ROTC at Tufts University.” The ceremony succeeded in paying tribute to all of our veterans.
On the afternoon of Saturday, October 25th, The MIT ROTC units held their annual Pass in Review ceremony, a long-standing military tradition in which a reviewing officer inspects and issues orders to troops. While the Pass in Review has become more of a ceremonial event over time, it still holds significance as an honored military tradition. The MIT ROTC commitment to tradition was apparent as cadet and midshipmen skillfully executed drill commands after weeks of planning and rehearsals.
Taking place during family weekend at MIT, the ceremony had a high turnout of veterans, guests of honor, families, and friends. The parade consisted of a joint battalion staff, a joint color guard, and a company from each service branch represented at MIT. The Navy “Old Ironsides” Battalion was commanded by Midshipman Joanna Chen from MIT. Cadet Molly McFadden commanded the Army “Paul Revere” Battalion, and Cadet Martin York commanded the Air Force “Doolittle’s Raiders” Detachment.
The MIT ROTC Units were honored to have Vice Admiral Sean Pybus, Deputy Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, as the guest speaker for this event. VADM Pybus graduated from University of Rochester in 1979 and earned a Navy commission through NROTC. He continued on to have a career in Navy Special Warfare, participating in special operations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In his speech, VADM Pybus encouraged midshipmen and cadets to branch out and expand their horizons because as military leaders, they will require a broad range of skills and knowledge. He said that no matter what community the students entered upon commissioning, they must always strive to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and be the best leader they can be. Commitment and effort are paramount, he emphasized, in these days of tight budgets and reduced force numbers. Finally VADM Pybus stressed that “as a leader you will fail, and you will fall. What is important is what happens when you get back up.”
All who witnessed the Pass in Review ceremony could feel the sense of pride and confidence from the cadets and midshipmen as they marched past and saluted the Vice Admiral and the guests of honor. The Pass in Review was an opportunity for veterans, active duty, and future military members to come together in their shared commitment to excellence and to serving a cause greater than themselves.
After weeks of planning and many early morning rehearsals, the three Boston University ROTC Units came together Saturday morning to execute their drill movements in front of their parents, friends, and honored guests.. The Pass in Review ceremony is a long-standing military tradition which originated as a way leaders assembled and inspected their troops in formation. The Boston University Army, Navy, and Air Force Units worked well together to make this year’s Pass in Review a success.
The ceremony took place on Nickerson Field at Boston University on Parent’s Weekend, which gave parents and other family members of cadets and midshipmen the opportunity to attend this annual event. Army and Navy were organized into two companies and Air Force into one.
The Navy Battalion was commanded by MIDN 1/c Veronica Dambrauskas from Northeastern University. Alpha Company was led by MIDN 1/c Sarah Verille of Boston College and Bravo Company was led by MIDN 1/c Josh Dalva of Boston University.
“They were exemplary in their execution of the movements, something evident after all the work they put in during their extra practices with the key personnel,” stated MIDN 1/c Alexander Hayden, Boston College. The members of each company marched well together in unison and executed each command with confidence and precision.
The guests of honor in attendance included President of Boston University Dr. Robert A. Brown, Director of the Division of Military Education and Vice President and Chief of Staff Dr. Douglass A. Sears, Professor of Naval Science Captain Steven M. Benke, Professor of Aerospace Studies Lieutenant Colonel Paul H. Whitmore, , and Professor of Military Science Major James Mitchell. Also in attendance were the following members of the Military Education Faculty Committee: Dr. Jeffrey Hutter, Dr. Theo DeWinter, Dr. Igor Lukes, Dr. Anna Depold Hohler, and Dr. Robert Hausman.
The Boston ROTC Units were fortunate to have Colonel Charles H. May, Military Deputy at Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center as the guest speaker for this event. His speech touched on many aspects of the ROTC program and emphasized the importance of staying true to one’s personal values as an important quality of a good leader. May reminded the cadets and midshipmen that they have chosen a path only one percent of Americans take and they should be proud of their decision to put their country’s needs above their own. He referenced President John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country,” and urged students to keep in mind they are making an important and honorable sacrifice by joining the military.
All who witnessed the Pass in Review ceremony could feel the sense of pride and confidence from the cadets and midshipmen as they marched past and saluted the guests of honor. The midshipmen and cadets left there remembering Col.May’s words, reminding them that one day, they too could be in his position as an experienced and well respected officer in the military standing before his or her troops at a Pass in Review ceremony.
Written by MIDN 2/c Katrina Longest
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