Great Days and Dress Blues

Photo Courtesy of K. Madden

Military Ball is one day every year where the JROTC department hangs up their flight caps, pulls out their service dress for a formal event, and celebrates the work put forth for that year. 

Held on March 24, at the Courtyard Marriott, the event ran as smoothly as usual. 

The event contains a few concepts that differ from a normal school dance, such as the grog bowl and a table to commemorate prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. 

Before the grog occurs, there is a table set with symbolic items to represent different parts of the sadness that comes with missing soldiers. A main piece to this ceremony is having four cadets each hold onto a cap, one from each branch of service. The cadets this year were seniors Nicholas Barrera, Omar Luna, Jonathan Sanchez, and junior Gabe Llanes. Each cadet ceremoniously placed the cap to represent a soldier who could not be there that night. 

After the ceremony dinner is served, the grog begins. The grog bowl is a fairly new tradition to the JROTC ball, but goes back as a military tradition further than we know. The grog is a bowl of random items all put together as a drink, which must be drank if someone violates a rule of the mess and is called out for it. This year’s grog contained items such as chunks of red jello, full bottles of lemon and lime juice, and pineapple chunks, just to name a few. There is a certain procedure to follow to drink this concoction; if you miss a step or mess it up, back to the grog you go. 

After the grog is closed and dinner is over, the royal court is announced. The 2018 court was made up of Lord David Perez, Lady Maliyah Guzman, Duke Manny Allen, Duchess Missy Howard, Prince Austin Downs, Princess Taylor Downs, King Nicholas Barrera, and Queen Monique Bienen. 

After the court is revealed and the seniors walk under a saber arch, the seniors have a dance which kicks off the party. The DJ plays, the photo booth has a constant line all night, and the cadets dance until they cannot dance any more. 

Military Ball is an event that all cadets look forward to all year long; it is an event where Air Force Cinderellas or Knights in Shining Dress Blues can be found.

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