ROTC ball builds camaraderie, while honoring fallen soldiers

Ryan Wilkinson

Youngstown State Army ROTC 1st Lieutenant Tijuana Rogers follows along with the program as the schools are being introduced. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The table was set for one. A chair, draped with a black cloth, sat in front of the table. It was empty. A single candle burned, its light a point of hope.

The place setting was a memorial for the soldiers of the U.S. military who gave the ultimate sacrifice during their service. Honoring these soldiers was a somber but time-honored tradition at the 2007 Army ROTC Military Ball.

Held Friday, the military ball brought together Army ROTC students from Kent State, Youngstown State and Mount Union.

“It is really a great chance to meet the cadets from the other schools,” said Phillip Wilson, junior criminal justice major and ROTC cadet.

Due to the Army’s post-Cold War drawdown, the ROTC program at Youngstown State was placed under the operational control of Kent State in 1995. The Mount Union ROTC program is a new upstart and is under the wing of Kent State’s “Golden Eagle Battalion.”

This year’s military ball was hosted by the Youngstown State ROTC program.

“It really gives cadets who go to different schools a chance to meet each other,” said Travis Phillips, a cadet from Youngstown State and the evening’s Color Guard Commander. “We get to know each other on a personal level.”

The purpose of the ball is for what the military calls “esprit de corps,” which means camaraderie, Phillips said.

The evening began with a formal presentation of the American flag. As the cadets stood at attention, 2004’s Miss Ohio, Amanda Beagle, sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.”

Bernard Kosar Sr., father of famed Cleveland Brown’s quarterback Bernie Kosar, was the evening’s keynote speaker.

The final portion of the evening was a dance, meant to be an enjoyable way for the cadets to get to know one another on a personal level.

“It was a good ball,” said Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Paydock, Army ROTC admissions officer. “The speakers were good; the singing was great. It was outstanding; really excellent.”

Contact ROTC and Greek life reporter Ryan Wilkinson at [email protected].