Fall in Line for Military Ball


Maya Gill, Copy Editor

The AFJROTC, Unit CA-20161, program thoughtfully planned and executed a night full of classy traditions with a side of entertainment. Taken place at the Portuguese Hall, cadets, administration and local community members took upon formal attire from elegant gowns to service dress. Cadet/ Lieutenant Cornel Carly Turner helped start off the night with a POW/MIA ceremony, an honoring recognition for those who were held captive and returned, as well as those who remain missing. Many symbolic components are included with the ceremony such as a white tablecloth, which symbolizes “the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms.”

Proceeding with a moment of silence, Turner and Cadet/ Deputy Lieutenant Cornel Dalin Silcox repeat the rules of the Grog Bowl, particularly the Air Force’s most gross tradition, which is hybrid mixture of assorted beverages in one bowl. Members of the ball are sent to the Grog if they break any of the sixteen rules provided on a paper at each table. For example, “Thou shalt not murder the Queen’s English.”, translated simply to don’t use profanity.

One rule I found especially appeasable was “Thou (men) shall stand when a lady departs or arrives your table.” Each flight commander all took to the stage and recited a clever poem that would describe what exactly they are incorporating into the Grog as cadets tap their fingers on the table, excited for the affair. As tradition, the flight commanders were the first to down the putrid sludge.

Continuation of the formal section of the ceremony, attendees were honored to listen to Keynote speaker Lieutenant Cornel Kenneth White, his speech circulating around what “hashtags” are we living by. White starts off by making a correlation with the popular app, TikTok, where hashtags are used on videos to describe what they are about. “Are you a #sneakerhead or maybe #promking?” White asks the audience. Ultimately, White dives into how youth, most relevantly teenagers, are caught up with labels and how people perceive them. White states that “In the next twenty years, your character will be established by actions and not by silly things we are so infatuated by.” After explaining personal anecdotes on his gap year, the necessary aid to help him discover his true self, White explains how teenagers should enjoy being in high school and living in the moment, because “adulting is overrated anyway.” He then ends the speech with the AFJROTC mission statement which states as “to develop citizens of character dedicated to serving their nation and community”.

The night then escalated into the moment we all waited for, the party, where chicken and steak dinner were served, dancing combusted on the dance floor and laughter flooded the air. Cadets reported how being able to experience high school memories was most memorable, considering the unfortunate circumstances COVID-19 unleashed on all.

It was certainly a night to remember, especially when our own Major Roundtree was sent to the Grog bowl for breaking the most important rule of the night, being on cellphones during the formal session!