ISU Army ROTC prepares for Military Ball


Military Ball Guest Speaker

By Paul Ehrsam

The ISU Army ROTC cadets and leaders are getting ready for their annual Military Ball this weekend.

On April 27, 2013, Army ROTC will have its Military Ball at the Gateway Hotel here in Ames.

Each branch has its own ball. Since the Navy branch held one last week, it is the army’s turn now.

“We all have our own little traditions and ceremonies we do, so that’s why we have them separate. We each honor our fallen comrades in our own way and other little traditions, too,” said cadet Megan Ripperger, junior in dietetics.

At the Army’s Military Ball, there will be several awards presented, both group and individual. The battalion will officially receive the MacArthur Award, as one of the top battalions in the country, and the George C. Marshall award for best cadet in the program will be presented, among many others.

“We go through a lot of really neat awards for the cadets that put in a lot of work for us,” said Lt. Col. Richard Smith, professor of military science and tactics.

The ball will also have Major General Allen Batschelet, who is the highest-ranking active duty ISU alumnus currently in the force. He will be speaking to the cadets about how Iowa State prepared him for the future.

“It’s good to have the No. 1 prestigious member to come out of our program to show these cadets how they can succeed and how the ISU program prepared him for his future,” Smith said.

One other important aspect of the ball is that it gives the program the chance to showcase the cadets to their families and show what they are about.

“I really think the best thing we get out of the Military Ball is to showcase our cadets in front of their families, we just don’t get that opportunity. We have 400 guests this year so over 250 family and friends that are going to be able to come, and we also incorporate our awards ceremony into that,” Smith said.

The Military Ball shows the cadets’ families and friends a side of the military that isn’t always seen.

“It’s really neat for these students and cadets to be able get in their dress uniform and get in their bow ties and be able to showcase to their families what they do, when they don’t really get to see what their student is a part of,” Smith said.

It is felt throughout the program that the ball is a good way to get everyone together for a good evening.

“It’s just a time to kind of get everyone in the battalion together with their families and it’s just more of a camaraderie thing than anything else,” Ripperger said.