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More than 200 ROTC Cadets Take Part in Pass in Review Ceremony

Before an audience of dignitaries and family, a new class of Army and Naval ROTC recruits marched on Kaufman Mall Friday, Aug. 27, during Old Dominion University's annual Pass in Review.

More than 200 students from across the United States paraded before their commanding officers, Capt. Mike "Breeze" Barea of the Naval ROTC and Lt. Col. Carl Michaud of the Army ROTC, and ODU President John R. Broderick, along with guest speakers Rear Adm. Mark S. Boensel, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic; and Maj. Gen. Frank E. Batts Jr., commander, 29th Infantry Division, Virginia Army National Guard.

With a combined enrollment of about 550 cadets, the two ROTC units at ODU (the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC is a combined unit that includes Hampton and Norfolk State universities) are among the largest in the country.

Broderick, in his address to the new "boots," told them how fortunate ODU is to have "such fine young men and women." He also urged the recruits, who had just finished a rigorous week of physical and leadership training, to concentrate on their studies at the university.

"Some of the finest students we've had at Old Dominion have come from the ranks of our ROTC units," Broderick said.

Batts said that at a time when Americans are distrustful of many institutions, there's one that continues to receive the country's regard - the U.S. Armed Forces. "There's a reason for that. Making the commitment to pull on that uniform and serve our country is, I believe, almost the highest calling you can aspire to," he said.

Boensel told the recruits that attending Pass in Review ceremonies reminds him of beginning his service more than 30 years ago. "It's inspiring for me to see you out there, and I'm envious of where you are," he said.

"You have all volunteered at a time when you're very likely to be in harm's way soon after you are commissioned. This country owes you a debt of gratitude already, as it does to the families who've come here today."

For the first time, the Pass in Review included music provided by the ODU Monarch Marching Band, under the direction of Alex Treviño. All the speakers thanked the ODU musicians for adding an air of pomp and circumstance to an already moving event.

This article was posted on: August 31, 2010

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