Cadets came dressed in their military best, in pressed uniforms emblazoned with stripes and ribbons,
last Saturday 22nd Annual Central High School JROTC Military Ball, the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps annual formal social event.
The ball, one of JROTC’s rare joint-service social events and long-standing traditions, gathered together all the JROTC military services: Air Force, Army, which is meant to celebrate JROTC, it increases inter-service bonding, and acts as a forum to practice etiquette. JROTC cadets from the local area include cadets from the JROTC Douglas High schools that filled the banquet halls of the Minerva’s on December second.
The JROTC all cadets’ uniforms were embellished with intricate details that told each cadet’s history, such as their class, rank, and achievements. Multicolored ribbons pinned to jackets indicated certain achievements, such as membership in the "Drill / Color Guard/ Unarmed /Armed Team." The Air Force cadets wore blue with small airplane pins, leading some cadets to joke about the similarities of the women’s Air Force uniforms and flight attendants’.
The event provided a seldom opportunity for cadets to freely socialize with each other. Before the doors were opened, groups of mostly the same-service cadets chatting casually about school and JROTC life. Cadets from different services and their dates sat ten at a table during dinner, distinctly separated from the officials sitting at other tables.
The night began with a welcome speech for the entire audience, After the invocation, certain leading cadets lead toasts honoring officials such as the commander-in-chief and chiefs of each military service, and the crowd echoed back requisite responses such as "to the chief!"
Traditions and symbolism indicating honor and respect for their fellow servicemen infused the ball’s spirit. One honorary tables were arranged at front: draped in a White tablecloth, was meant for honorary, separate table remained empty, symbolizing those who could not be with the cadets that night: Prisoners of war and those missing in action. It was draped in a white tablecloth to indicate the purity of their actions, surrounded with one chairs for missing, and sprinkled with salt to signify the tears shed for them.