Category Archives: Joint Service Events

BU Joint Service Military Ball


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.”


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.

pow mia

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.”


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


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.

MIT Joint Service Ball

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.

MIDN 4/C Anderson

JMS Opening Ceremony

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.

Joint Service Ball Winter 2015

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

Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Tufts University

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”.ROTCadvocatesEvents 260

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.

Written by MIDN 2/c Oscar Martin

MIT Pass in Review Ceremony

IMGP6081On 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.IMGP6059

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.”IMGP6076

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.

Written by MIDN 3/c John Holland