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ROTC helps clear stadium

| Thursday, November 20, 2014

Before Notre Dame fans packed the football stadium last Saturday to cheer for the Irish, the Notre Dame ROTC units – Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps – spent 12 hours shoveling snow out of the stadium to prepare for game day.

Master Sergeant Marshall Yuen said the shoveling, which lasted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, was part of an agreement made between Notre Dame ROTC and stadium staff in 2008.

“Back in 2008, before a Stanford game, the campus got hit by a really big snowstorm,” he said. “It was on a Thursday and Friday, and [Facilities Manager] Dan Brazo had a hard time getting all the snow cleared for the game. So after that, he called over here to coordinate a community response with us for the next time something like that happened.”

Yuen said last Friday was the first time since 2008 that the ROTC was called to help clear the stadium, and in all, about 75 percent of students involved in the Notre Dame ROTC program helped shovel snow.

“Quite a few of our cadets were [shoveling] in between class periods,” he said. “[Some of them] went to class at eight o’clock in the morning. They had an hour break, so they walked over to the stadium and did some shoveling and then went to their next class. Some did it over their lunch breaks.

“Every one of the ROTC commanders was out there shoveling snow, and some of them were out there for six or seven hours.”

Sophomore Naval midshipman Ian Tembe said involvement in ROTC service like this is personally important to him.

“I like to participate in everything the battalion does,” he said. “For me, Navy ROTC (NROTC) is the main part of my life as far as my future and my career. … Another thing that I really like is the relationship between NROTC and Notre Dame, and I wanted to help further that [by participating].”

Shoveling snow in the stadium also helped strengthen the bond between the four different ROTC units, Tembe said.

“It’s important for the cadets to do [service for the University] so that [ROTC] can instill that ‘God, Country, Notre Dame’ kind of ideal and that service to community,” he said. “It’s important to strengthen the relationship between the Navy, the Army, the Marine Corps, the Air Force and Notre Dame.”

Senior Elizabeth Terino said the relationship between the four ROTC branches extends beyond shoveling snow together on Friday. The units have multiple events with each other throughout the year, she said. Tembe said this relationship between the branches is an important one.

“The camaraderie between the units, we have kind of a sibling rivalry,” Tembe said. “But we’re really more tightly involved than you might think. And that’s important because once we graduate and become officers, joint relationships between the branches are very important to the military objectives of the United States. Each service would like to say they’re the one that does all the work, but really the work can’t be done without all the armed services.”

Shoveling snow on Friday was a way to show ROTC’s appreciation for Notre Dame, Terino said.

“Notre Dame is so supportive of the ROTC program,” she said. “Shoveling the stadium is just a small act of service that we can perform to give back to a University that gives us so much.”

Ultimately, though, Yuen said the service Notre Dame ROTC provides to the University also benefits the cadets.

“What it really teaches our cadets is that if somebody asks for help, you go out there and help them without expecting necessarily a monetary reward or a pat on the back,” he said. “When your community calls you to help, if you have time to do it, you go out there and do it.”

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