Northwestern State University’s Army ROTC Demon Regiment held its 73rd annual military ball in the student union’s ballroom Saturday, April 15. Alumni who served our country throughout the 73 year history of ROTC at NSU were joined by the current cadets, instructors, and guests in celebrating the remarkable group of four young men and women who will take their place in the defense of our nation as Army officers upon graduation.
Colonel Matthew J. Hardman delivered a superbly moving keynote address to the assembly, speaking of the necessity of loving the soldiers entrusted to you and helping them become the best they can be.
The late Major General Erbon W. Wise established the Touchstone Award for the Demon Battalion’s top cadet each year. Cadet Michael T. Shamblin won the award for 2023. He will be commissioned into the Aviation branch upon graduation.
Three NSU Army ROTC Alumni were inducted into the Northwestern Demon Regiment Hall of Fame. One of the inductions was awarded posthumously. Thomas McCullough graduated from NSU and was commissioned into the Army in 1969. In June 1970, he was grievously wounded in combat, leaving him paralyzed until his passing in 2022. His was a life of service, both in the crucible of combat leadership and in civic life. He served in the Veterans’ Administration and was an active supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of his home in Oregon. From the Kiwanis to the national Museum of the U.S. Army and other civic organizations, he left his community a better place.
His family was in attendance at the ceremony, with his widow accepting the award in his memory. Her acceptance speech spoke of her love of, and pride in, her husband of over 40 years. She received a standing ovation. Thomas McCullough exemplified Isaiah 6:8.
Northwestern State University has hosted Army ROTC for the past 73 years. During its history, over 1,000 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. ROTC is America at its best.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the night’s photography. Copy protection is off and anyone may download any photos they wish. “Kevin’s Gallery” will take you to the photographs.