Cadets enjoy Military Ball

Jake Joseph | Raider Staff

This year’s annual NJROTC Military Ball was held at Lansdowne Resort on December 14. At the ball, NJROTC cadets and their guests were invited to trade in their baggy sweatpants and sneakers for a suit and tie for the evening.

The ball consisted of a reception, a dinner, and a dance. It was an opportunity for students to experience a formal dinner, which relies heavily on manners and etiquette.

English teacher Katherine Ives believes the Military Ball is a great way for students to practice and learn interpersonal skills. “They go through a receiving line as they enter and must respectfully interact with officers and guests of honor,” said Ives, who has attended the ball for multiple years.

Ives believes the ball is a perfect opportunity for young adults to learn how to converse and handle themselves in a formal setting. “Because it is formal with a sit down dinner, it has an element of conversation and conviviality that is more refined than Prom or Homecoming,” Ives said. “Much of life is about adapting to new situations and shifting behavior to match the situation. The Military Ball provides attendees with this opportunity.”

The dinner portion of the ball came after the reception. The senior officers and their respective guests sat at a head table, while all those attending sat at their designated spots.

“My favorite part of the ball has to be the fact that they leave one table empty in respect of the fallen soldiers,” said junior Harrison Bradford, who has been an ROTC cadet all three years at Loudoun County High School.

The meal consisted of a salad, steak or chicken, and cake. After the dessert was served, all guests stood up to toast the branches of the US military. After the toasts, the guest speaker addressed the guests.

This year’s guest speaker was Colonel Robert Fagan from the Army. Fagan spoke of his time in the Army, with stories from his service.

After Colonel Fagan finished speaking, the dance portion began. “The dance was my favorite part,” said junior Ella Adam, “I like how they played both fast, upbeat songs and slow songs.”

The military ball concluded at 11:30, though guests were welcome to leave as soon as the dance began.

“I loved the ball,” said junior Clay Curtis. “I’m definitely going again next year.”