U ROTC Branches Show Their Colors

For U ROTC cadets, the Tri Service Ceremony marks one of the most important and formal gatherings of the year.

Held yesterday, the end of the year ceremony honors cadets in all branches of the military for their accomplishments.

The ceremony is traditionally held at Stillwell Field or Fort Douglas, but due to yesterday’s inclement weather, the site of the ceremonies was relocated to HPER East.

U President Bernie Machen spoke at the event.

“On Feb. 8 of this year, I stood in this same room and welcomed President George W. Bush to the U campus the night before the opening ceremonies of the Winter Games, so I think it’s quite appropriate that we have this ceremony here,” he said.

Cadet Ryan McEwan of the Army ROTC was honored with the President’s Cup, along with Navy ROTC Midshipman Peter Stavrides and Air Force Cadet Col. Lance Ratterman. The President’s Cup is awarded to outstanding members in each branch of the military. The Navy program includes Marine cadets.

Those cadets who demonstrated the most potential as officers received sabres.

Capt. Ray Bouchard, an associate professor of military science in the Army ROTC, conducted the ceremony.

Bouchard said only contracted cadets who will become commissioned officers are invited to participate in the ceremony.

The event began with the 23rd Army Band performing traditional military songs, including a rendition of the national anthem.

“It is our duty and responsibility to assist in the defense of our homeland,” Machen said, “and I would not want soldiers in the military who did not receive the kind of training and education the cadets here at the U are getting today.”

The Tri-Service Ceremony first began following the American Revolution, when the United States first established various branches of the military, Bouchard said.

Though the cadets who were bestowed with awards will not receive money or any other type of reward, the pride of winning is honor enough, according to Bouchard.

“Winning one of these awards is like being the valedictorian of a class. It’s a huge honor unto itself just to be recognized with one of these awards,” Bouchard said.

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