Oct. 20, 2010

ODU honors Virginia Guard with football ceremony 

Staff Reports      

NORFOLK, Va., — Old Dominion University President John Broderick expressed appreciation for the Virginia National Guard by presenting senior leaders with a game ball during a ceremony at the Monarchs home football game against Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo Oct. 9 in Norfolk.

 

Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, chief of staff of the Virginia Air Guard (left), shakes hands with Old Dominion University President John Broderick after Broderick honored the Virginia National Guard by presenting a game ball to Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, the Assistant Adjutant General for Army (right), during the Oct. 9, 2010 football game versus Cal Poly- San Luis Obispo. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

Brig. Gen. William R. Phillips, the assistant Adjutant General for Army, and Brig. Gen. Wayne A. Wright, chief of staff of the Virginia Air National Guard, were on hand for the ceremony, which signified the long and successful relationship between the university and the Virginia Guard, according to Capt. Shawn Vergott, assistant professor of military science in the Department of Military Science and Leadership and commander of  the Virginia National Guard’s Hampton-based Company C, 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 116th Brigade Combat Team.

Phillips, Wright and Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis A. Green, the 29th Infantry Division command sergeant major, met with ROTC cadets and Virginia Guard Soldiers before and during the game. Among the cadets on hand for the game were Cadet Chad King, an ROTC cadet, Virginia Guard Soldier and defensive end on the ODU football team, and Cadet Kenneth L. Bowden, who was chosen by his cadet leaders to receive a 29th ID coin from Green for his superior performance.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery Regiment, 116th Brigade Combat Team were also on hand for the game. A group of troops attends every ODU home game and fires a howitzer from the corner of the field to announce the arrival of the Monarchs at the beginning of the game. 

 

Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis A. Green, the 29th Infantry Division command sergeant major, presents a 29th ID coin to Cadet Kenneth L. Bowden for his superior performance in the ODU ROTC program.

Click HERE to see more photos from the event on the Virginia National Guard Flickr site.

The ODU Army ROTC program has a large presence on campus, with more than 300 cadets and more than half of them are members of the Virginia National Guard. ROTC works jointly with the Virginia National Guard in its tuition assistance program, making college affordable for deserving students, according to Vergott, and many of those students draw tuition assistance from the Guard. 

“Our National Guard students can sign up for the Simultaneous Membership Program once they contract with ROTC after freshman year,” Vergott said. “The program allows cadets to shadow an officer in the National Guard while still in college.”

The cadets drill with Virginia Guard units and get real-world experience, which makes them better officers, Vergott said. After commissioning, the cadets can remain in the National Guard, Army Reserves, or compete for an active-duty commission.

The Army ROTC program provides everything from color guards at various campus events to delivering the game ball on opening day of football season via an 82nd Airborne parachute team.

In addition, the Virginia National Guard supports ODU's ROTC program by providing rappel masters from the 183rd Regiment, Regional Training Institute to teach cadets how to rappel off the Foreman Field football stadium every fall. Meanwhile the Virginia Guard's 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment provides humvees used in homecoming parades and ROTC events.

“Together, ODU Army ROTC and the Virginia National Guard work together to train students to be leaders and give back to the campus, their community and their country,” said Vergott.  

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