Cadets commemorate hard work
The Houston Battalion Army ROTC program’s annual awards ceremony highlighted several cadets within the program by acknowledging their outstanding achievement and accomplishments throughout the past year. For the entire cadre, the chance to award the cadets was also a chance to honor the representatives and donors of the organizations that began the tradition of giving the awards.
250 cadets, family members and key guests came to celebrate at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the UH Alumni Center.
“Today is about honoring the cadets and the families,” said Battalion Executive Officer Capt. Braswell. “It is very important to the donors as it is to the University, because it does not only honor the students, but it honors the organizations that support military officers and the military as a whole.”
Each award given during the ceremony had its own requirements to achieve. Some were given based on academic standing or physical fitness, while some included scholarships to be granted to the cadets who possessed qualities that exceeded expectations and their peers. The scholarships ranged in size from $50 to $2,000 and totaled about $25,000.
Some of the awards were in remembrance of fallen soldiers from the far and near past. Of these awards, several were given by descendants of the fallen soldiers as part of the ceremony’s honors.
The ceremony was a chance for family members and leaders of the many awarded cadets to recognize their hard work. For some of the upcoming graduates, it was a way to show to the community and their families how dedicated they are to working to become an officer in the U.S. Army.
The battalion is made up of students with varying backgrounds and experience levels, some already with military experience. However, they all possess the goal of being an Army officer, a position that holds leadership and military bearing at a high level.
“The battalion is made up of a wide range of cadets with a wide range of skills, and it is good to acknowledge that with this ceremony,” said Cadet Command Sgt. Major Karis Coe, a political science senior, who was also in the group of awardees.
Most of the cadets in attendance were fully dressed in their Class Blue uniforms, a uniform that embraces tradition, the ideal of awarding great acts and the bearing that being a military officer holds.
For members of the battalion cadre who were responsible for selecting the cadets to be awarded, a chance to commend the work of their cadets could not have come soon enough.
The ceremony began with the playing of the national anthem and an opening remark from Lt. Colonel Michael Smith, battalion commander and chairman of the Department of Military Science.
Smith noted the many deeds and accomplishments of the awardees and said the choice to become a military officer is a choice to serve. His message spoke to the cadets in appreciation of not only fulfilling their duties as cadets but of their dedication to become an officer in the Army.
After Smith’s opening remarks, Coe led the battalion in reciting the Cadet Creed and Braswell led the presentation of the awards and scholarships, which totaled around 50 awards.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the Army Song, a long-held tradition at Army ceremonies.