The evening was filled with awards, glitz and fun
Hat Tip, Chief Warrant Officer 2 (Retired) Bobby Blair
On April 14th, 2023 the Huntington North Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) hosted its Third Annual Military Ball. The event took place at the Heritage Hall building of the 4H Fairgrounds in Huntington, Indiana. The evening began with cadet Major Alison Poff, the master of ceremonies, greeting all who attended followed by toasts given in military fashion by several of the senior cadets. Cadets Kira Burkhart and Lauren Templeton gave the invocation before the evening meal. Cadets Anna Elliot, Jozaphine Nieman, and Elizabeth Thomson sang the National Anthem as the JROTC Color Guard, consisting of cadet Captain Hayden Beard, cadet Master Sergeant Gabe Crago, cadet Staff Sergeant Bodie Lindaas, and cadet Sergeant Ayden Wallace presented the colors.
After the meal was complete, Chief Warrant Officer 2 (Retired) Bobby Blair introduced the evening guest speaker, Huntington North High School’s Principal, Mr. Patrick McLaughlin. Following the guest speaker, cadets were called forward to receive awards and certificates for their outstanding 2022 – 2023 school year achievements. The awards ranged from national recognitions for their physical fitness, academics, leadership, JROTC milestones, and personal achievements. Cadet Captain Hayden Beard and Sergeant Jessie Bilyeu were recognized for their dedication and selfless service to their community. Cadet Major Alison Poff received recognition from the American Legion for her scholastic achievements. Cadet Major Tate Didion and Cadet Captain Hayden Beard received recognition from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their essays for the Voice of Democracy essay contest and leadership excellence.
Mr. McLaughlin received a certificate on behalf of the VFW from the state of Indiana for the National Citizenship Education Teacher Award. Cadet Sergeant Fabio Leitner received recognition as the Distinguished Cadet and an award from the Special Forces Association. After the cadet awards, major supporters of the JROTC program were called forward. Mr. & Mrs. Cansler were recognized for their dedication to the JROTC archery program. Mr. John Petrovich was recognized for his commitment to the Junior Leadership Academic Bowl (JLAB) and Color Guard Team. The American Legion, the Amethyst Lotus, the Huntington County Frisbee Golf League, the VFW, Zahm Trailer Sales, and Mrs. Susan Marlow were also recognized for their continued support. Immediately after the awards ceremony, CW2(Ret). Blair, cadet Major Trever Walker, cadet Major Tate Didion, and cadet Command Sergeant Major Kaleb Dollarhite conducted the Change of Command ceremony.
The passing of the JROTC guidon is a military tradition that exchanges the leadership responsibilities from the outgoing cadet commander, Trever Walker, to the incoming cadet commander, Tate Didion. Following the change of command, CW2(Ret.) Blair, cadet Major Walker, and cadet Major Didion gave closing remarks and showed thanks to all of those that attended. After the ceremony, cadets were allowed to stay for a dance party. DJ Doug Hartle provided music, Luck Tech Photobooth had a booth where cadets could grab props and take filmstrip pictures, Portraits by Mechelle provided professional photos and Greenbear Digital Media captured the entire evening.
The full photo album will be posted soon at greenbeardigitalmedia.com soon