News Article – Howard ROTC Conducts Military Ball

Posted: May 4, 2011 in General, News Stories, Other Writing
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Howard ROTC Conducts Military Ball

Cadets and Guests gather for Annual event

by Terrance Williams

The Howard University Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) conducted its annual Military ball this weekend at the Crystal City Hilton Hotel. A myriad of cadets and guests arrived for the event dressed in their Army Greens, as well as formal dresses and tuxedos for the gentlemen.

A Tradition of Excellence

The Howard University ROTC program was one of the first in the nation started for the training of black officers in the military. The program is nearly as old as Howard University itself, and has over 10 General Officers. Participants take military science classes and participate in weekend trainings, as well as physical training (PT) three times a week, and other optional and mandatory and optional events. Cadets who excel have the option of attending summer trainings such as Airborne, Air Assault, Mountain Warfare, and Combat Diver school. Upon completion of the program, a cadet is commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army and has an obligation to serve at least 5 years on active duty.  The military ball is one of the yearly events which cadets also participate in.

The keynote speaker for the event was the 51st Quartermaster General, and first woman to be awarded the General’s Star in the Quartermaster corp, Brigadier General Gwen Bingham. A native of Alabama, she graduated and commissioned from the ROTC program at The University of Alabama in 1981. She holds a B.A. in General Business Management, and Masters in Administration and in National Security Strategy and Resources. She spoke to the cadets about making sure you do not let others define how far you can go or how high you can achieve.

A Great Opportunity

In addition to cadets and their guests, the military ball is also attended by alumni, distinguished guests, and active and reserve officers in the military. This provides a rare opportunity for cadets to make connections with possible people who have been in their shoes, and are already at the place where they are heading. “Military ball is a great time for cadets to interact with officers,” says Junior ROTC Cadet Terrie Hoover. ” It gives us a chance to ask questions about our future careers and possibly find a mentor to successfully guide us along the way.”

For the guests it is an equally exciting event. Wilsar Johnson, a Junior at Georgian Court University in New Jersey who was invited by a cadet, commented on how much she enjoyed the experience. “It was an honor to be invited to such a prestigious event. The men and women were very disciplined and poised. As a student, it inspired me to work harder,” she said.

In addition to dinner, dancing, and a quest speaker, select cadets also received various awards and were able to participate in a raffle for gifts which varied from Howard University Bookstore gift bags to a PlayStation 3. Though the dates, speakers, and venues change, it is clear that in this regard, the Howard University Bison Battalion is committed to continuing their tradition of excellence well into the future.


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