Annual ceremony honors ROTC students
Selena Ponio | Thursday, April 14, 2016
Army, Navy and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) units gathered on South Quad Wednesday afternoon to participate in the annual Pass in Review, a symbolic display of skill, precision and patriotism. The ceremony included a benediction by director of Campus Ministry Fr. Peter Rocca, the presentation of student awards and a speech from University President Fr. John Jenkins.
Rocca gave an opening prayer of thanksgiving for the “cadets and midshipmen who wish to serve our country and make the world a better place.”
“We are grateful as well for the blessings of scholarship and of learning, of faith and of service,” Rocca said.
University president Fr. John Jenkins gave a speech at the ceremony praising the ROTC men and women for their dedication, both to Notre Dame and their country.
“I want to congratulate warmly all the award winners,” Jenkins said. “But I want to congratulate each and every member of Notre Dame ROTC. In addition to the demanding course of studies that each of you undertake, you also have too the responsibilities of Notre Dame ROTC.”
Jenkins said this year was momentous for Notre Dame ROTC because it was the Navy’s 75th anniversary on campus. He said the Navy’s presence began in 1941, when Notre Dame was a training center for the Navy during World War II. Jenkins also said it was the 65th anniversary of Army ROTC and mentioned also that Air Force began in 1947.
“These are proud milestones, but as was said earlier, the officer training goes back even further to the days of Father Sorin,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins talked about the variety of military training on campus. He said with the outbreak of World War I many members of the Notre Dame community displayed their loyalty by serving in the military.
“The names of those who died in that conflict … are immortalized in the East Door of the Basilica. And over that east door is the motto ‘God, Country, Notre Dame.’
“But as we all know, it has almost become a motto for Notre Dame for what we espouse, for what we consider important, for a sense of service, a sense of sacrifice,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the spirit of Notre Dame ROTC embodies the Notre Dame spirit in general.
“I just ask you to always remember the values you learn at Notre Dame. As you go forth into military service and even beyond that; a sense of leadership, a sense of community, a sense of looking out for one another and a sense of self-sacrifice for something greater in your lives.”
Jenkins said General Martin Dempsey, 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be speaking at Commencement and noted that he is an exemplary figure of leadership and service.
He said he commends members of the ROTC for being trained as sailors and soldiers of not only great skill, but also enlightened consciences.
“You have contemplated the morality of warfare and embraced the virtues of peace,” Jenkins said. “Highest among these virtues stand courage, justice, faith, hope and love. These values will serve you in your future.”
Jenkins finished his speech by thanking the military men and women for representing Notre Dame in the best way possible.
“Wherever you go, we ask you to bring Notre Dame with you, bring that spirit with you,” he said. “We hope that this spirit, which has infused so many generations of Notre Dame graduates, will be part of your lives as well.”