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February 22, 2024

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Air Force ROTC to host annual military ball Friday with Army

Tonight the Air Force and Army ROTC will uphold a tradition that’s been hosted at the University for 64 years, and in the military for longer than that.

Brandon Werling is the Air Force cadet in charge of planning this year’s military ball.

“It’s a joint annual military ball with Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC,” he said.

Though the Air Force is hosting the event this year, Werling has set up a planning committee made up of cadets from both branches of the military.

Cadets could think of this event as preparation for all of the formal and semi-formal events they will attend after graduation, he said.

“It is a tradition and we’re going to be doing things like this when we’re on active duty,” Werling said.

Typically the ball consists of a guest speaker and awards given, but each year the focus is a little different. The theme of this year’s ball is “creating an effective unit.”

Werling said that this year’s speaker, Stephan Rogers, will have a lot of perspective on this because he has experience going from enlisted, to an officer, to a civilian.

Rogers’ speech will focus on the importance of working together.

“On active duty the Army and Air Force have to work together as a cohesive unit,” Werling said.

Junior Jordan Sanderson is also looking forward to the speaker, a part of the ball which he said has been good in years passed.

“We always have distinguished guests,” he said. “In the past we’ve had the president [of the University] and the provost.”

The ball is “standard formal dining etiquette.”

“It’s very formal, but still a lot fun,” Sanderson said.

Werling said that the Air Force cadets had a briefing on etiquette during one of their labs.

Sanderson said the ball is also a nice way to reflect on all the accomplishments made during the year when awards are given.

The ball is one of the only times during the year that Army and Air Force cadets interact, an opportunity that many are looking forward to.

“Its nice to get to know Air Force cadets,” said Lisa Wendal, a junior Army cadet.

Wendal said that the ball is a nice way to create camaraderie, a sentiment that Sanderson thinks is also important.

“It’s a good way to meet people and uphold a military tradition,” Sanderson said.

Werling has a special reason for looking forward to the ball because he was so involved in the planning.

“I’ve been working on this since summer and it’s been stressful,” he said. “But once I see it come together, and everything work out, it will all be worth it.”

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