ROTC honors graduating seniors
Ciara Hopkinson | Thursday, April 20, 2017
Notre Dame’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), held its annual Pass in Review Ceremony on Wednesday on a rain-shrouded South Quad. ROTC honored its members for a year of excellence in academics, leadership and service.
“The military Pass in Review is a formal ceremony rooted in the tradition of a commanding officer inspecting the men and women serving beneath him for their appearance, technique, precision and battle readiness,” junior Chris Ruflin said.
Notre Dame’s full Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine units, in dress uniform, lined up in formation for the inspection of University President Fr. John Jenkins and Colonel James E. Bowen of the United States Air Force. The ceremony honors all ROTC members, who will go on to serve in the U.S Armed Forces after graduation, as well as students who have gone above and beyond their duties.
“Notre Dame men and women have served and will continue to serve in our country’s battles with honor, courage and integrity, and are proud to reflect the true essence of that powerful motto of our service — God, Country, Notre Dame,” Ruflin said.
Following the National Anthem, Fr. Peter Rocca, rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, gave the ceremony’s invocation. Rocca expressed gratitude for the selflessness of the ROTC students and their professors, leaders and administrators.
Jenkins and commanding officers recognized ROTC students from each unit for achieving higher levels of excellence, whether in leadership, academics, character, optimism, piety, compassion, loyalty or for four years of distinction. Cadets and midshipmen were presented with officers’ sabers, plaques and a tactical watch.
The awards were followed by a brief speech by Jenkins, in which he expressed his pride in the ROTC members and their commitment to a greater purpose, rooted in Notre Dame’s rich military history dating to the 1850s.
“At Notre Dame and in the military one finds a commitment to integrity, service and leadership,” he said. “Wherever you go, you will bring that spirit of Notre Dame with you.”
Jenkins finished with a message to the ROTC seniors who will soon assume their positions as active-duty officers or reserve officers.
“As you go forth into military service and unity, I ask that you remember the values that you learned here, that sense of leadership, of selflessness, of community … you have contemplated the morality of warfare and embraced the virtues of peace,” he said.
Finally, Jenkins presented the President’s Cup to the winner of the annual tri-military competition, comprised of a football tournament in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring. This year’s winner was the Army ROTC.
After a closing prayer from Rocca, in which he asked for God’s protection of the ROTC students as they become a force for good in the world, each ROTC unit marched past toward Main Building.