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Army ROTC hosts Warrior Night

Jim Ferlmann | Monday, November 23, 2009

The Notre Dame Army ROTC battalion hosted Warrior Night — an event that pitted the four platoons that comprise the battalion against each other in contests such as sumo wrestling and tug-of-war — Friday at the Moreau Seminary gym.

Each platoon sported distinctive war paint such as cat-whiskers or mustaches.

“I’m not really sure when Warrior Night began, but we’ve been doing it long enough that it’s a valued battalion tradition,” Cadet-Captain Kailyn Van Beckum said. “Warrior Night is a social tradition for the battalion to bond internally, build spirit-de-corps, and learn about the history of the battalion. My favorite part of Warrior Night is the mixing of the Grog, and how each ingredient means something to the history of the battalion.”

“The Grog” is a large drink that is mixed from different things each year. Each ingredient of the Grog has some kind of symbolism to the history of the battalion. This year’s Grog included, among many other things, blue Gatorade representing the blue uniforms of the mid-19th century ROTC division, instant coffee powder symbolizing gunpowder, Red Hot candy symbolizing the anti-military sentiment of the 1960s and sweat wrung from T-shirts symbolizing all the hard work of the battalion over the years.

“This wasn’t bad Grog by our standards,” junior Anthony Conklin said. “Drinking from the Grog is meant as a punishment for platoons on Warrior Night. Last year we had fish oil in the Grog. You could sure taste that.”

Another important aspect of Warrior Night is the humorous skits put on by the different classes making fun of themselves and the other military branches. Normally the skits are put on by members of each platoon done in ascending order of seniority. This year, the sophomore ROTC class filmed a series of skits beforehand. The skits were so good the junior and senior divisions admitted that they couldn’t match the sophomore skits, and gladly accepted drinking the Grog for being outdone.

Warrior Night is the culmination of Warrior Week, in which the battalion participated in various military exercises including a physical training tests, a 6-mile run with full rucksacks, obstacle courses and grenade training.

At the end of Warrior Night each platoon that scored the highest in a particular activity that week was awarded with a pennant for their platoon flag. This year, Platoon A-2 was the overall winner of Warrior Week.