TCU Army ROTC gave cadets a chance to honor those leaving the program during its 63rd annual Military Ball Thursday night.
The ball, held at the Ashton Depot in downtown Fort Worth, honored the program’s 12 graduating senior cadets before they are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve or National Guard.
“These are soon-to-be commissioned officers,” junior cadet Jarrod McClendon said. “This is their last hurrah as cadets…So it’s pretty cool.”
After dinner, Col. Chris Talcott, professor of military science, introduced each of the seniors, telling a few jokes at their expense, but eventually thanking each of them for their time with the program.
“Not only do we get roasted and everything,” senior cadet James Liu said, “but it’s like a farewell thing for us, as well as for some of the cadre here too.”
The program bid farewell to a number of cadre members, including Talcott and Master Sgt. Donnell Rogers, who are both retiring from the Army.
The program gets some new faculty members every year or so, but the cadets made a special point of honoring Talcott and Rogers.
Following the traditional senior slideshow, the cadets presented another slideshow filled with embarrassing childhood photos of Talcott and Rogers.
Senior cadet Paul Cheng called Rogers “the backbone of the program” and said that Rogers loved cadets like his own children. He called Talcott a “man of faith above all, and a gentleman.”
Another cadre member receiving honors was Maj. Eddie Smith. The program inducted Smith into its Hall of Honor based on the votes of the senior cadets.
Smith will soon be promoted to lieutenant colonel. He has worked at TCU since 2007. He said his role in the program has been more than a career.
“I don’t consider it a job,” Smith said. “I consider it an opportunity to change lives.”