By Abbigail Wilson
The younger cadets are filled with excitement and anxiety, while some of the older cadets are beaming with euphoria. Expectations are high for the special night that is planned for this Saturday, January 30 at The Grand.
“We have a reception line where officers greet and introduce their date. Then everyone sits down and the toast is made. The toast is lead by Gunner. Then there is a guest speaker, color guard, and Pledge of Allegiance. After that we have a cake cutting ceremony. We also have tables reserved with a place setting for prisoners of war and missing in action symbolizing we are awaiting their return,” said Senior Chief Michael Beal.
Cadets agree with Beal that the night will be ceremonial but also a good time.
“We have military customs like cake cutting and greetings when we walk in. The better part of it is when we get to dance,” said sophomore Jenna Thomas.
Senior Brandy Carroll said it will be entertaining even if you do not act crazy.
“We act professional, but also get to have a fun time. We don’t act like a loud animal, but you act like you would any other day,” said senior Brandy Carroll.
Junior Katie Hertog agreed with Carroll that they remain civilized, yet have a good time.
“We start off the night pretty serious until the ceremony is over. Then once the dancing starts, everyone becomes laidback,” said Hertog.
Beal said there are some rules that the cadets have to abide by when attending the military ball.
“Any high school student can come as long as they are invited by an ROTC student. They must meet me though to go over the safety briefing. Basically it involves dress attire, they must dress casual. Once you arrive you are in and can’t abandon your date,” said Beal.
Senior Nathan DeStephanis said military ball is meant to be a enjoyable event and not something to worry about.
“It is very relaxed, not something to be super stressed about. It’s not casual, but not overly professional,” said DeStephanis.
Beal said this event is one of the most popular among the cadets.
“We hear it is one of the favorite things of being in ROTC. Everyone dances together and has a fun time, after all the hard work it is rewarding and you don’t have to have a date to come,” said Beal.
Hertog said she has good intentions for the ball alike every year.
“I’m expecting it to be great as usual. I expect everyone to enjoy themselves and get closer as a company,” Hertog said.
Carroll said it will not change much from last year, but she would still make the best of it.
“Probably the same thing that happens every year, a fun time, and hanging with friends,” said Carroll.
DeStephanis said this year will be his last year, so it will mean a lot more to him.
“I expect it to be a lot more sentimental. Our former instructor Lt. Col. Gipe will be our guest speaker and my class was his last one. So he will get to see us out,” said DeStephanis.
Beal said out of his 22 years of having military ball, this moment will be remembered most.
“Our DJ for the evening is a mom of a former cadet and she got to dance with her senior son for his last dance. He went to Iraq and got shot, but came back. He turned out fine, but that was memorable,” said Beal.