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Army ROTC hosts annual ball

Christian Myers | Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fighting Irish Army ROTC cadets will look to show off their best dance moves next weekend as the battalion hosts its annual Army Ball on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Hilton Garden Inn in South Bend.

Senior cadet Trevor Waliszewski said the ball will feature a saber arch in honor of the senior cadets, an address by guest of honor Major General Richard Longo, a class dance competition and a traditional formal dance.

Waliszewski said each of the battalion’s graduating seniors will walk through the arch while a brief biography of their accomplishments is read. Many of the seniors’ parents will be in attendance, he said.

“As a senior, I’m looking forward to the saber arch. There’s a real sense of accomplishment from knowing I’ve worked hard the last few years,” Waliszewski said.

Major General Longo is the deputy-commanding general for Initial Military Training for the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. Longo is stationed at Fort Monroe, Va.

Sophomore cadet Julia Steines-Berkemeier said she is looking forward to Longo’s speech.

“It should be interesting. Everyone’s who’s been in the army for that long has a lot of good insight to share,” Steines-Berkemeier said. “They’re very experienced and knowledgeable.”

There will also be a dance competition between the different classes, Waliszewski said. Each class is working hard on the choreography, he said.

“We didn’t have a class dance competition last year, so I am excited that it is coming back this year,” Steines-Berkemeier said.

The rest of the night will feature traditional dancing with students attired in dress uniforms and gowns, Waliszewski said.

The event is an opportunity to build a sense of community amongst members of ROTC, Steines-Berkemeier said.

“The ball is definitely good for building camaraderie and gives you a different atmosphere for interacting with other cadets. They like to say it builds ‘esprit de corps’ [morale of a group],” she said.

Steines-Berkemeier said he enjoyed last year’s event asa fun way to spend time with other cadets outside of ROTC.

“Last year’s ball was really fun,” Steines-Berkemeier said. “It is a nice way to see people in a more social setting, everyone is more relaxed.”