Lander University hosted its first Highlander Battalion Dining-Out on Thursday, May 6. Cadets from the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) of Lander University, Newberry College and Presbyterian College, which comprise the Highlander Battalion, gathered on Lander's campus to celebrate cadets' accomplishments and efforts.
Major Adrian Chen, assistant professor of military science, describes a dining-out as a "formal military dinner where civilians are invited to attend."
During the opening of the evening, Lander cadet and Cadet Battalion Commander Brian Murphy gave a brief history of the Military Dining Ceremony, describing how the close association between the British and American Army during the world wars led the United States Army to adopt the ceremony as part of its social program, and how it "flourished during World War II and became a regular social function."
"They recognized that the ceremony is an ideal forum in which to strengthen and perpetuate the spirit, professionalism and soul of the Army," said CDT Murphy.
In a lone corner under a spotlight was the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action table. The table and its components symbolize the dynamics of the realities for some soldiers that serve: a round table to show "everlasting" concern for those missing; the tablecloth is white to symbolize the purity of their motives; a red rose in a vase to remember the life of each of the missing, and their loved ones; the vase is tied with a red ribbon to symbolize continued determination to account for the missing; a lemon slice on a bread plate to remember the fate of those captured and missing in foreign lands; a pinch of salt for the tears endured by those missing and their families; an inverted glass represents their inability to share in the evening's toast; and an empty chair to remember those who can't be with their fellow servicemembers.
Special guests and members of the head table included Dr. Richard and Mrs. Jessica Cosentino, president and first lady of Lander; Brigadier General John T. Gentry, Jr., Presbyterian College alumni; Dr. Anna-Bradley Schoenfeld, major gifts officer for Presbyterian College, and her husband, Mr. Thomas Schoenfeld; Dr. Sid Parrish, vice president for Academic Affairs, and his wife, Mrs. Julie Parrish.
Instructors, cadets and guests were served dinner and desert, which was followed by a brief awards ceremony. Cadets ended the evening learning by their new roles in the Highlander Battalion's Cadet Battalion Staff.
Awards and recipients:
Military Order of the World Wars:
Gold: CDT Charles Alexander, Presbyterian College
Silver: CDT Bricelin Balcer, Lander University
Bronze: CDT Torrence Nelson, Newberry College
This award is in recognition of cadets who demonstrated outstanding performance in the ROTC program.
Reserve Officers Association Award:
Gold: CDT Logan Ellis, Lander University
Silver: CDT Payton Hibler, Presbyterian College
Bronze: CDT Laura Layton, Newberry College
This award is in recognition of cadets who embody Army values and display high nationalism in the ROTC program.
National Sojourners Medal: CDT Benjamin Bayles, Presbyterian College
This award is in recognition of a cadet with the highest attributes of Americanism and embodies the values of Patriotism in the ROTC program.
Scottish Rite Medal: CDT Cameron Campbell, Newberry College
This award is in recognition of a cadet with scholastic excellence and who demonstrates high Americanism in the ROTC program.
Cadet Battalion Staff List:
Battalion Commander: CDT Klimpel, Presbyterian College
Battalion Executive Officer: CDT Moore, Presbyterian College
Battalion Command Sergeant Major: CDT Coffman, of Lander University
Battalion S1: CDT Crean, Presbyterian College
Battalion S2: CDT McKinney, Newberry College
Battalion S3: CDT Mass, Newberry College
S3 Training Officer: CDT Seigley, Newberry College
Assistant S3: CDT Trevino, Presbyterian College
Battalion S4: CDT Williams, Lander University
Battalion S6: CDT Vasquez, Newberry
Battalion Nurse: CDT Stratton, Newberry