The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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ROTC banquet features military traditions

The cadets sit nervously around the tables in the banquet room, each of them silently hoping they haven’t done anything to warrant punishment. Suddenly, a cadet stands and points out a fellow cadet’s misplacement of his nametag.

He is ordered up to the front of the mess along with several other cadets. They are then forced to sing “I Feel Pretty” as the entire mess bangs their spoons loudly against the tables to show approval. But this is not horseplay-it’s military tradition.

The 2006 Ute Battalion Reserve Officer Training Corps’ annual dining-out event held in the Officer’s Club on Friday night featured a series of these traditional military practices.

Maj. Ronald Powell, an associate professor in the department of military sciences, said the dining-out event is like a holiday for the cadets because it gives them the chance to share the military culture with their families.

“The traditions for the dining-out night are practiced throughout the army?they’re a part of the army culture,” he said.

The class clown of the battalion, known as “Mr. Vice,” oversees the traditional proceedings. The senior officers select an eccentric cadet to play the role of “Mr. Vice.”

He oversees the grog ceremony in which various ingredients are poured into a pot to represent the different American wars. Cadets are traditionally punished for conspicuous behavior by having to drink from the grog, but the U discontinued that practice after too many cadets got sick at last year’s banquet.

Forrest Davis, a senior political science major who served as this year’s “Mr. Vice,” said the grog ceremony is something the cadets look forward to for weeks.

“The grog is the centerpiece of the occasion?the juniors and seniors always try to do things to get each other into trouble during the grog ceremony,” said Davis.

The night also honored two retiring employees from the U Army ROTC chapter: Lt. Col. Dean Faust, who has served as head of recruitment for the past six years, and Karen Wadsworth, who has worked in various positions with the U ROTC program for more than 18 years.

Wadsworth was presented with the Superior Civilian Service award for her service.

“Karen Wadsworth has been through the ups and downs of the U ROTC program?she is an unsung hero and has helped significantly to increase enrollment to the highest it’s been at any time since the ’80s,” said Maj. Dustin Shultz, an assistant professor in the department of military sciences.

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