It is March 16 at 5:30 PM. From new to returning, JROTC cadets begin to enter the venue arms locked with their dates. Each cadet is dressed head to toe in their service uniforms and formal dresses and they all wait in a line to get in. As they walk in, the excitement in the room fills as the night begins.
The Military Ball is a formal event for the JROTC cadets to have a night to enjoy a dance that includes military traditions. To meet military traditions and courtesy, the ball requires numerous amounts of preparations to be done such as scheduling and rehearsing. This year, the venue and tickets have changed for the ball, as well as the senior leadership.
“All of the cadets are involved, the instructors and guest speakers [are involved],” Sergeant Major Artis said. “They have to act accordingly to the traditions and customs of the military when they go there.”
Artis explains that all of the cadets are a part of the ball. They each must act accordingly while following the military traditions. Although all cadets have responsibilities, some cadets have bigger responsibilities than others, like senior Alexis Mitchell, who is a part of the preparation committee for the ball this year.
As part of the preparation committee, Mitchell’s job entails collecting all supplies and materials needed to run the ball. Mitchell also helps in assisting and designing the whole event.
“The hardest part of the preparation process is the organization of everything. There are 210 cadets in the program, and we have to make sure everyone is able to attend, as well as organize the venue itself in order to maintain an organized event,” Mitchell said.
Although the Military Ball is a night for the JROTC cadets to enjoy themselves, people like Mitchell have big roles that require lots of responsibilities so everything goes according to plan. Mitchell defines the hardest part of her job as the organization of the great number of people in one room at a time.
“I decided to participate in the preparation process because I am able to effectively design and organize decorations, as well as assist in all areas of the preparation process in order to make this ball the best one we’ve ever had,” Mitchell said.
While the preparation process has many responsibilities, Mitchell enjoys her job because it allows to her to help others. Mitchell found that one of her strengths was design and organization skills, so she decided to join the preparation committee to put her skills to work. After all her hard work is done, Mitchell is excited to participate in the senior walk at the event.
“I am looking forward to the senior walk, where all JROTC seniors are honored by walking through a saber tunnel and their names are read off as well as a small information section [about them],” Mitchell said.
Another cadet looking forward to the event is junior Mason Kienzler. Kienzler has been going to the Military Ball since his freshman year and has gained responsibilities since then.
“For the color guard we post the colors and for the honor guard we have a saber tunnel that honors all of the seniors,” Kienzler said
This year, Kienzler has taken the responsibility of being in charge of both the honor guard and the color guard. For each event, Kienzler and the cadets practice in the morning prior to the ball. Then he comes to the event early to make sure all of the cadets are squared away.
“The Military Ball is just a great experience. I have responsibilities at the ball that require me to attend but I would still go if I didn’t have to. It’s a great experience to be at a formal event like that,” Kienzler said.