Sem Ridge Hawk Battalion Honors Cadets

The Seminole Ridge High School Hawk Battalion celebrated the promotion of several of its cadets Tuesday, April 16 in the school auditorium.

To be promoted, the cadets had to sit before a promotion board for an interview. The board then decided to promote them to a higher rank for the coming school year.

The promotions are as follows: John Christian, colonel; Jamie Marchand, lieutenant colonel and battalion commander; Timothy Ruback, lieutenant colonel; Desiree Galavan and Christopher Mitton, major; Charlie Green, captain and executive officer; and David Evans, sergeant major and command position.

Leadership staff are as follows: Jose Ruiz, second lieutenant; Michael Garrity, second lieutenant; Brogan Zelinka, captain; Cody Papula, sergeant first class; Heather Riley, captain; Elania Reyes, sergeant first class; Brooke Gaster, second lieutenant; and Devon Breen, second lieutenant.

Team Commanders are as follows:

• Color Guard — Morgan Wilson, second lieutenant;

• Drill Team — Hunter Grabbe, captain;

• Marksman Team — James Aspenwall, master sergeant;

• Raider Team — Andrew Harre, first lieutenant.

JROTC Military Ball — The fourth annual SRHS Army JROTC Military Ball for the Hawk Battalion was held Saturday, April 20 at the Binks Forest Golf Club.

More than 150 cadets and guests, and hundreds of years of military tradition, gathered in one room. The ball, a celebration for all JROTC members of the accomplishments done throughout the year, is the big event to close out the school year.

The theme of this year’s ball was “The Founding of Our Great Nation,” with 13 tables to represent the 13 American colonies.

Cadets and their dates took their seats as the honor guard, dressed as Revolutionary War soldiers posted the colors. The saber guard formed an archway for the seniors, who walked through it to receive a certificate from program instructor Lt. Colonel Hans Hunt.

Next came the grog bowl ceremony. Many years of tradition have gone into the grog bowl — mostly alcoholic traditions. But, because the cadets are minors, they improvised, filling the punch bowl with liquids ranging from jalapeño juice to vinegar, stirred with Hunt’s riot baton for the battalion’s seniors to drink.

Each item put into the bowl has some type of symbolism to the members present — it can represent the hardships they went through or a special experience they had while serving. Cadets proposed toasts, and some — with teary eyes and shaky voices — offered one to America’s fallen comrades throughout all conflicts.

After dinner, guest speaker David Mitchell shared his extensive knowledge of the Revolutionary War, followed by Brigadier General (Ret.) Alban Irzyk, who shared his experiences from a half-century of military balls.

The final event of the night saw the dance floor erupt with cadets having a great time. Many rated this ball their most successful so far.

“It was a great experience, to learn more about JROTC and to see how they’re honored,” guest Cara Engh said.


ABOVE: Cadets are promoted during a ceremony held Tuesday, April 16.