ROTC pitches in for military appreciation

October 26, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — From Nittanyville and on the field at Beaver Stadium this weekend to Ruck for a Cure in November, the three branches of the Reserve Officer Training Corps are working to make Military Appreciation Week a special time for veterans and active-duty military.

The football game against Iowa on Oct. 27 begins a two-week slate of events culminating in Veterans Day festivities on Nov. 12.

Lt. Col. Christopher T. Sebora, operations officer for Penn State Air Force ROTC Detachment 720, said Joint Service ROTC has been working together with other University offices on upcoming events, including Veterans Affairs and Services and the Office of Veterans Programs.

“Overall, our goal is to support the University, to show the outstanding cadets and midshipmen we have in a positive light, and show everyone in the community what we bring,” Sebora said.

The first of these events will be an Air Force honor guard trick team performance at the request of Nittanyville, the group of students who camp in front of Beaver Stadium leading up to home football games. Honor guard trick teams are known for their precision handling of rifles and choreographed movement.

On Saturday, cadets and midshipmen from Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC and Naval ROTC will provide escorts for veterans and active-duty military personnel during the sixth annual Military Appreciation Tailgate at the Bryce Jordan Center. They will be part of a team of 500 who will assist some 10,000 veterans, service members and their families. 

Just before the 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Iowa, ROTC will be on the field with an all-female, eight-person color guard with cadets and midshipmen from all three branches joining others around a large flag in the end zone.

On Nov. 1 beginning at 9 a.m., the public is invited to a keynote address by Yvonne Gaudelius, associate vice president and senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education, followed by a pop-up exhibit of Special Collections materials titled "Penn State Women and the Military," both in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library. A future exhibit on the history of American women in the military, featuring University Libraries materials available for checkout, will be on display later in November in the foyer and study areas of the Music and Media Center, part of the Middlemas Arts and Humanities Library, second floor Pattee Library. 

Later in the month, the Air Force ROTC’s acapella group, Wild Blue Yonders, will give multiple performances, including at State College’s First Friday celebrations on Nov. 2 and the women’s volleyball game on Nov. 11.

This also will be the second year for Kaizen Ruck for a Cure to benefit THON on Nov. 3. All three ROTC branches and Kaizen members will don weighted rucksacks around Beaver Stadium for 24 hours. Kaizen is a THON organization comprised of Army ROTC cadets and supporters.

Nov. 11 will be the Freedom 5k For PTSD starting at 11 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the Lone Survivor Foundation, which provides support for wounded service members and their families by addressing post-traumatic stress, mild traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, military sexual trauma and care partner stress. The run/walk is sponsored by Penn State’s Aerospace Studies Student Organization.

Gaudelius said these events are just some of the many ways ROTC cadets and midshipmen are involved in the community and Penn State.

“The ROTC programs at Penn State provide a tremendous opportunity for students to integrate military education and training with their academic programs,” she said. “While at Penn State, these students contribute to the University and the community in a variety of ways, from providing color guards at numerous athletic events to volunteering in the community. As these students complete their degrees and earn their commissions, they leave the University well-prepared to continue their service.”

This year’s Military Appreciation Week theme at Penn State is 100 years of women officially serving in the armed forces.

Last Updated October 26, 2018