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ROTC holds Pass in Review

Elizabeth Kuhn | Thursday, April 17, 2008

University President Father John Jenkins watched more than 300 members of the ROTC program march and salute him and other commanding officers during the annual Pass in Review ceremony at the Joyce Center Wednesday.

A staple of the program’s tradition at Notre Dame, the ceremony provides members of the Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC branches with an opportunity to demonstrate their precision and discipline. The regiments’ reviewing officer, Jenkins, then thanks them for their service and confers several awards – consisting of officers’ sabers – on the top cadets from each unit.

“We are proud to have you here at Notre Dame,” Jenkins told the units. “This is a day of celebration for all of your hard work and accomplishments. While only some receive awards today, you are all deserving.”

Besides the 13 individual awards that were handed out (mostly to senior students who served in leadership positions during the 2007-08 year), Jenkins also awarded the Tri-Military Commander’s Cup to the Navy branch.

A year-long competition between the program’s three branches, the Commander’s Cup aims to develop cadets and midshipmen physically, mentally and morally, according to the ROTC Web site.

Individuals GPAs, participation in community service and performance at inter-branch games and fitness drills determine each branch’s cumulative score.

By encouraging healthy athletic competition, camaraderie among the units and leadership in the community, the Cup is preparing the program’s cadets and midshipmen to assume high responsibilities in both the military, their workplace, the community and the government, the Web site said.

Jenkins touched on this mission during his address by commissioning the units to protect the nation and urging them to remember that their ultimate goal should be to promote a world with “peace rooted in justice.”

“It is critical that you become people of high competence and expertise, but also moral depth,” he said.

The Navy band Great Lakes began the ceremony, playing John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” in anticipation of Jenkins’ and the other commanders’ appraisal of the corps.

Upon a brief but powerful bugle call, each block of cadets and midshipmen snapped to attention showing the discipline it acquired throughout their year.

Notre Dame is one of few universities to have students participating in all three branches of ROTC and the Marine Corps, a division of the Naval Corps.

Each division has its own student commanders and specialized instructors, and they all share director of Campus Ministry Father Richard Warner as chaplain.