ROTC to celebrate 100 years of Cadet Command

Kalyn Hayslett, Verge Editor

Eastern’s ROTC has dedicated this weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Cadet Command.

ROTC Fair will give students hands-on activities to participate in on the Tarble Arts Field and the South Quad.

A DJ will play popular music, cotton candy and popcorn will be offered and several military demonstrations will be shown.

Students can compete in an inflatable obstacle course, win prizes and take pictures with the auxiliary Black Hawk helicopter and other military vehicles.

The Fair is from 1- 5 p.m. and it is free for anyone who wants to attend.

Patricia McPhillips, professor of military science and lieutenant colonel, said planning for the fair was the most challenging out of all of the celebration events.

“We have never done a 100th celebration so figuring out the idea was the most challenging.”

Students can meet both high school members in JROTC, members of the college ROTC and Alumni during the fair and possibly consider joining.

McPhillips said recruiting more students would be great however, that is not the main focus.

“Success for me is that every one has a good time,” McPhillips said. “A lot of things were cancelled this year and it’s something we are doing to show the campus thanks.”

On Saturday ROTC hosts Past-Present- Future 5K Fun Run/ Walk starting at pond pavilion.

Jasmine Winters, junior geology major and rotc public relations chair, said she is looking forward to being apart of such a large run/walk and hopefully setting a new precedent.

The goal for this 100th year celebration is to host the largest running event recorded,” Winters said. “ I believe the previous record was 209,000 people. We are trying to beat that and I believe that was in the Philippines in 2012.”

About 275 senior ROTC programs nation-wide will connect via social media to make sure everyone starts the race/ walk at the same time.

Once all of the members start then the ROTC can count everyone participating and hopefully break the previous Guinness World Record McPhilips said.

Anyone can register online or on site however the fee is $24 and participates will receive the 100th celebratory t-shirts.

To motivate the runners and walkers both the JOTC instructor and McPhilips will give a brief speech before the race begins.

To achieve the theme the JOTC participants represent the future army force, present are the EIU ROTC members and the past are the alumni participants.

At 6pm on Saturday the annual ROTC military Ball will begin in the Grand Ballroom.

McPhilips said the military ball is the main celebration activity that she looking forward the most.

“The military ball is the event that has the most tradition. Cadets can experience a formal military function and have a chance to socialize,” McPhillips said.

The ball has been celebrated for 100 years however this is the first time the Cadet Command Hall of Fame will be established and the first two inductees will be announced.

McPhilips said it was tough deciding which alumni to induct because of the amount of great candidates but these two Colonels were perfect.

“These two stood out as leaders in the field,” McPhilips said.

The first member of the Hall of Fame is Colonel Scott Kimmell from 86’ graduating class. Kimmell currently is the associate commandant of US Army chemical school.

Second member is Colonel Retired Robert Sinkler and current director for the water infrastructure for the nature conservancy’s the North American water program.

For the military ball alumni from both the class of 1985 and class of 2015 are invited to attend.

The Fair, run/ walk and the military ball are all planned and executed by cadets in the hopes of commemorating cadet’s 100 year legacy.

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].