By Kevin Shannahan
Northwestern State University’s Army ROTC Demon Regiment held its annual military ball in the student union’s ballroom Saturday, April 13. Alumni who served in conflicts from the program’s founding at NSU in 1951 through Afghanistan and Iraq were joined by the current cadets, instructors and guests in celebrating the remarkable group of six young men and women who will take their place in the defense of our nation as Army officers upon graduation.
Brigadier General Vincent B. Barker delivered the keynote address to the assembly. In an address largely devoted to the cadets present, the general offered advice to the young men and women starting their military careers.
Retired Major General Erbon W. Wise established the Touchstone Award for the Demon Battalion’s top cadet each year. The award gives the chosen graduating cadet a voucher for an Army Service uniform to start off his or her career. Cadet John A. Ham won the award for 2019. He will be commissioned into the Ordinance Corps upon graduation.
Northwestern State University has hosted Army ROTC for the past 69 years. Over its history, 1,066 young men and women have become Army officers through the program and have gone on to serve our nation with distinction in peace and war. ROTC is a force for good in our nation, a meritocracy blind to race, class or creed in which a person’s character and work ethic can take them far.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the night’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any photos they wish.