JROTC Military Ball

The corps of cadets and guests gathered Friday night in the Red River High School Gym for their annual Military Ball. Gentlemen wore their best military uniforms with highly polished shoes. Ladies wore their best evening attire.

It was a fun evening, with a little foolishness thrown in. Military Balls are a long-standing tradition in the US Armed Services and ROTC programs as well. The Red River Cadets did an excellent job of maintaining that tradition to the highest standards.

Five seniors were presented awards for completing the JROTC program. They are Cadet Sargent Orquinta Taylor (4 years), Cadet Master Sargent Ariel Babers (3 years), Cadet Master Sargent John Lewis (4 years), Cadet Major Alexis Keith (4 years), and Cadet Major Teanna Eason (4 years). Keith and Eason were two of the cadets who oversaw the planning, preparations and execution of the Military Ball.

One highlight of the evening is the Grog Bowl, a just-barely non-toxic mix of pungent ingredients. Cadets cited for violations of the rules of the Mess (which are lengthy) are sent to the Grog to drink a cup of the brew. They then must invert their glass over their head to show that it is empty.

After a delicious meal, cadets and guests were served cake for desert. Cutting the cake is another time honored ceremony. The senior and junior military members present do the honors. Friday night it was Major Edwards and Cadet Airman Hardy Dowden who used long sabers to make the first slice.

The guest speaker was Lt. Col. Ryan Hatten, USAF Retired, who issued a challenge. The cadets were challenged to live the Air Force core values of integrity, service before self, and excellence before self. Hatten recalled, “I have lived them for twenty years. A lot of you are on the right path, so stay on it.”

Hatten defined integrity, “We always said ‘integrity’ was doing the right thing when no one is looking. I trust you to do the right thing when no one is around. We trust you.” He said to follow your moral compass and adhere to a strong honor code.

Service above self is another quality. Hatten said, “Dedicate yourself to things bigger than yourself. Look at the outcome of planning and the work that went into this event. We had a good turnout, a great ROTC faculty, some hard work and we like to have fun too!”

Lt. Col. Hatten remarked that his high school did not offer JROTC, that he became involved while in college. He said, “Be thankful that you have a program. As Airmen, continue to develop and enhance yourself. For students who will be here next year, take it to a higher level in everything you do. If you made a 90 on a test, make a 95 next time.”

Hatten concluded his remarks, “It’s what the core values are all about. They are for everyone to be successful in life. A lot have Biblical overtones as you would expect. Have integrity, don’t be selfish all the time, and put the team first.”

Then came the presentation of awards. Winners of the Cadet Fitness Awards were:

John Lewis won Male Push-up and Sit-up awards. Alexandria Brown won the Female Push-up award. Tianna Eason won the Female Push-up award. Awards for the mile run went to Ethan Morgan and Kaitlyn Antilley.

Four Cadets attended Leadership School this year. The corps will send seven cadets to the next Cadet Leadership School. Those recent attendees are Alex Brown, Key’Aria Lewis, Ethan Morgan and Ashton Smith.

At the end of the evening an American Flag that had flown in combat was presented to the school. The Journal will have that story in Friday’s Edition.


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