Naval ROTC News

Notre Dame Leadership Conference

By Midshipman Madison Howell ’19

Five Virginia Tech midshipmen, along with Lt. Michael May ‘10 traveled to Notre Dame University on Feb. 8 for the 23rd annual Naval Leadership Weekend.

The theme for the weekend was “One Team, One Fight,” and it emphasized the combined efforts of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to defend our country. The midshipmen were able to listen and ask questions to several excellent and inspiring leaders, including Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano, Sgt. Maj. Donna Dunbar, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and the co-founder of Keurig. At the end of the weekend, the Notre Dame midshipmen led discussions on ethics and featured a junior officer panel.

After the weekend, the midshipmen were able to take the advice and suggestions from the speakers and bring them back to share with their fellow shipmates.

Cadets pose for a picture after Raider Mess Night.
Midshipmen pose for a picture after Raider Mess Night.

Raider Mess Night

By Midshipman Ian Campbell ’18

On March 16, members of Raider Company gathered at the German Club Manor to hold their annual Mess Night. It is considered a formal gathering with the purpose of recognizing and practicing some of the Marine Corps’ traditions to pay respect to the Marines that have come before the current Raiders.

The event gave the Raiders the opportunity to gather and socialize with their brothers and sisters in the company. Members of the mess arrived early for a social hour and then were marched into the mess hall. Upon taking their seats, they were served dinner and dessert.

After the meal, they conducted a fining period. It was an opportunity for Raiders to poke fun at and punish one another for prior actions by means of a small monetary fine or a drink from the grog, a mystery substance assembled by the vice president of the mess.

After the fining period was over, the Raiders took the opportunity to pay respects to past and present Marines by means of toasts. The toasts honor Marines as far back as the Revolutionary War and as recent as the Marines currently deployed.

After the toasts were completed, the Raiders were privileged to hear some brief comments from the guest of honor, dismissed, and gathered outside for additional socializing.

One of the truly unique traditions of the Raider Company Mess Night is that each year, the senior midshipmen who are graduating are permitted to invite their fathers to attend the event so that they may see and partake in many of the traditions discussed previously. Overall, the event was a huge success and truly embodied the spirit of brotherhood that the Marine Corps is known for.

Midshipmen enter the German Club Manor at Virginia Tech to begin Senior Dining-In.
Midshipmen enter the German Club Manor at Virginia Tech to begin Senior Dining-In.

Senior Dining-In

By Midshipman Hanna Kobayashi’19

On April 13, the seniors and fifth-years in battalion held their annual Senior Dining-In at the German Club Manor. Senior Dining-In is designed to boost camaraderie within the senior and fifth-year classes, and it congratulates the midshipmen who are commissioning on all their hard work in a formal setting. Cocktail hour began at 5 p.m., and, during that time, many of the midshipmen had the opportunity to talk to the guest speaker, Vice Adm. David Architzel (retired).

The meal began at the end of cocktail hour, when everybody marched to their seats. Midshipman Quinton Cookis ’18 served as Mr. President and opened the floor for fining, once the food was served. Fining is an opportunity for midshipmen to roast each other and make each other pay their dues for prior actions with a dollar fine and a drink from the grog.

After the fining period was over, the midshipmen gave various toasts throughout the dinner, and the guest speaker delivered his remarks to the midshipmen. At the end of the night, the seniors and fifth-years had one last hurrah together and then dismissed. Everyone who attended agreed that the event was a huge success.

Farewell, Lieutenants

Lt. Michael May ’10 transferred to the unit in July 2016.  He served as the Alpha Company advisor, nuclear programs officer, NUCSOC advisor, academics officer, summer cruise coordinator, funeral honors coordinator, and the information systems officer. He additionally earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering during his tour of duty. His next assignment will be attending the Submarine Officer Advanced Course in Groton, Connecticut, in preparation for assignment as a department head in September. He will be greatly missed. Fair winds and following seas!

Lt. Chet Fearon transferred to the unit in May 2015.  He served as the Charlie Company advisor, recruiting officer, and command fitness leader, among other responsibilities. He additionally earned a master’s degree in human systems integration from the Naval Postgraduate School during his tour of duty. His next assignment will be as a “shooter” on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower out of Norfolk, Virginia. Fearon and his mustache will be greatly missed. Fair winds and following seas!