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ROTC recognizes new student leaders

Tori Roeck | Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Notre Dame’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) held a Change of Responsibility Ceremony Wednesday to pass leadership of its battalion to new cadets.

Senior student leadership of the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC branches changes at the beginning of each semester. The Navy and Air Force branches also held similar ceremonies this week.

“Being able to contribute in a very high degree and having the capacity to have a substantial influence and leave a mark … on the program was great,” Cadet Lt. Colin Raymond, last semester’s Cadet Battalion Commander, said.

Although rewarding, Raymond said his former job was quite challenging.

“It was a ton of work, and I am excited to play a more supporting role this semester,” Raymond said.

Cadet Lt. Kyle Hanratty, last semester’s Cadet Operations Officer, said he sees the transition as a “shift of responsibilities” for the senior leaders instead of a relinquishing of duties. He is now a platoon leader.

“[As platoon leader] I will be able to focus more on the individual soldiers and developing them versus the big picture I had last semester of the whole battalion,” Hanratty said.

Raymond, Hanratty and last semester’s Cadet Major Louisa White handled most of the event planning and training for the other cadets, which exposed them to the challenges of peer leadership.

“You can’t use the force of this imaginary rank to get someone to do something when they’re your friend and they’ve done the same thing as you this entire time,” White said. “You really don’t have a show of force other than who you are.”

Raymond said he had encountered the same difficulties and tried to include his peers as much as he could.

“I wanted to respect my friends as competent leaders themselves so giving them opportunities as well was important,” he said.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, each of last semester’s leaders symbolically passed the flag of each unit to the battalion commander, who then gave it to the incoming leader. According to Cadet Lt. Neal Dillon, coordinator of the event, this exchange represents the trust between members of the battalion.

Raymond said he trusts the new Cadet Battalion Commander, Cadet Lt. Geralyn Janke to lead this semester, and she is prepared to take on this role.

“Colin is good at everything … he did a great job last semester,” she said. “It will definitely be tough to fill his shoes, but I’m ready.”

Hanratty is succeeded by Alex Barbuto as Cadet Battalion Commander and White is succeeded by Graham Hoar as Cadet Major.