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ROTC holds annual Pass In Review

Katie Perry | Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Notre Dame Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) held its annual Presidential Pass In Review at the Joyce Center Wednesday to salute a select group of cadets and midshipmen for their demonstrated excellence in leadership, professionalism and academics, as well as their overall loyalty to the community.

The event – which originates from medieval military practice – is intended to allow the commanding officer or president to assess his or her troops for combat readiness. The Pass In Review has been an integral part of ROTC at Notre Dame since the program’s induction to the University in 1842.

Members of the Army battalion, Navy battalion and Air Force wing participated in the ceremony to honor their fellow cadets and midshipmen for their accomplishments in their respective factions of ROTC. Of the program’s 311 total members, 90 are in Army, 111 are in Navy and 110 are in Air Force.

“We hold the ceremony each year to pay homage to those who have worn the uniform before us and to those who will be commissioned in May as officers,” freshman Navy ROTC cadet Bryan Garcia said. “The ceremony is also a time to recognize and honor the First Class midshipmen, especially those who represent the highest values of courage, honor and commitment to both Notre Dame as well as the battalion.”

University President Father Edward Malloy presented two Army cadets, four Navy midshipmen and three Air Force cadets with awards for their noteworthy achievements in the ROTC program. Malloy then addressed the battalion and wing members along with the more than 150 attendees of the event, giving what would be his last speech at a Notre Dame Presidential Pass In Review. The president will resign from his post at the conclusion of the semester.

In his speech, Malloy urged honorees to “relish and savor the moment of recognition” but also reminded them of their crucial responsibilities as military figures. Calling the contemporary era a “perilous time in world and American history,” Malloy enumerated the weighty tasks entrusted to the United States military. He said natural disaster relief, intervention in the plights of struggling nations and global deterrence of terrorism are among these duties.

While he advised graduating cadets and midshipmen to keep the military casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq salient as they advance into active duty, Malloy also expressed faith in the senior ROTC members and praised their capacities as noble leaders.

“It takes a special kind of person to be a leader,” Malloy said. The president noted a laudable character and a lucid demonstration of values as fundamental attributes of any effective leader. Malloy also said it is much harder to wield character than ever before given today’s political context.

“It is important to provide opportunities to those who have entrusted responsibilities in you,” Malloy said. “To bring out the best in others is not an easy task.”

Malloy asked graduating ROTC members to utilize material learned in their respective programs as well as in their overall college experience to develop into intellectual and value-driven constituents of the American military.

The president said the United States armed forces have a “wonderful” tradition of bringing members of the Notre Dame ROTC program into esteemed positions in the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“I am confident that [senior ROTC members] will provide outstanding leadership,” Malloy said, emphasizing the value of well-rounded students in top-ranking military positions. “We depend on that for the best quality of decision-making and most flexible military possible.”

Garcia echoed the president’s assertion of the useful and advantageous nature of Notre Dame’s ROTC program in future endeavors in the armed services.

“There is no better place [than Notre Dame] in which a future officer can learn to become as tactically and ethically excellent as we prepare to enter the military,” Garcia said.