Standout Cadet, Anthony Cantrell, Presented the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement

By Sid Hall, Military Affairs Coordinator / ROTC Program Manager

With Interim President Dr. Marcus Jones and the Mayor of Natchitoches, the Honorable Ronnie Williams, Jr., looking on, the colors of the 72nd Demon Battalion of Northwestern State University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps were unfurled during the Battalion’s annual Activation Ceremony on Thursday, August 26, 2021. During the event, which was held in the ballroom of the Friedman Student Union, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Cantrell and Cadet Command Sergeant Major Seth Ozsoy attached the streamer to the battalion colors while the rest of the Cadets stood proudly behind them in formation.

The ceremony is a time-honored military tradition that serves two purposes: first, it affords the commander the opportunity to assess the readiness and discipline of the unit, and second, with the uncasing of the battalion colors, it marks a definitive point in time to commemorate the beginning of a unit’s history and lineage. To illustrate the proud heritage of the 71 years since the inception of Northwestern’s ROTC program, each graduating class is designated a separate numbered battalion, beginning with the 1st Battalion for the class of 1951 and continuing indefinitely.

In his remarks as the 72nd Demon Battalion Commander, CDT LTC Cantrell charged the Battalion, “My expectation for this group, from MSIV’s to MSI’s, is this: Nothing less than excellence. There is a reason we wear these United States Army Cadet Command patches that bear the words LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE. Just as the great General George Patton once said, ‘Always do more than is required of you.’ I ask that you take the initiative to strive for excellence – both mentally and physically – so that you may one day lead your Soldiers by example.”

Shortly thereafter, Colonel R. L. Friedrich, US Army Retired, was introduced and moved to the Colors to present the Legion of Valor Bronze Cross for Achievement to CDT Cantrell. A life member of the Legion of Valor, Colonel Friedrich was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism on September 7, 1968, while serving as a company commander during combat operations in Vietnam.

Following the ceremony, COL Friedrich wrote a letter to LTC Joshua Drake, NSU’s Professor of Military Science, and noted that he [Cadet Cantrell] will make a strong Army officer. Cadets and Cadre alike, could not agree more.

Throughout the year, ROTC’s curriculum and training ensures Cadets’ scholastic, athletic, and leadership abilities are developed and tested, preparing each for their individual career path. Success can be guaranteed with a strong work ethic, a willingness to improve, a team-building attitude, and living the Army Values. Said LTC Drake, “The Demon Battalion is remarkably proud to be among those elite ROTC programs worthy of recognition from the esteemed Legion of Valor.”

Pictured: The Battalion Command Sergeant Major, CDT CSM Seth Ozsoy (left), and Battalion Commander, CDT LTC Anthony Cantrell (right), attach the streamer for the 72nd Demon Battalion during an activation ceremony for Northwestern State University’s ROTC program Aug. 26.

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