"Dawn of a new day” the theme of Army ROTC fall dining out


Tuskegee, Ala.--The Tuskegee University Golden Tiger Battalion held its fall 2012 Dining Out on December 7, 2012, at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.


Cadet M.Benton, Captain P.Thorne, Ms. T.Townsend, Gen. B.Roberts, Master Sgt. D.Green, 
Colonel R. Cross, Major L.Carter posing for the official party photo shoot.


         The dining out, a formal ceremony rooted in 16th century England's monasteries and universities, is held to celebrate a military unit's great accomplishments and victories.  The Golden Tiger Battalion held its fall dining out to celebrate the completion of a highly successful fall semester marked by the presence of a dynamic and diverse cadre, superior performance at the Joint Field Training Exercise, and a spectacular display of Tuskegee University's rich military heritage during Homecoming weekend. 

            The Golden Tiger Battalion's dining out followed established military protocol--a social hour, receiving line, posting of colors, opening of the mess, and formal toasts rendered by cadet leadership.  The most solemn toast of the evening was the one honoring our fallen commrades, displayed on "a table set for one" at the front of the ballroom.

            A time-honored tradition of the dining out is the presence of Mr. Vice, this year played by Cadet Arin Mitchell.  Mr. Vice oversaw the preparation of the "grog," a punch made from mythical, symbolic ingredients  like "blood from the battlefield" (cherry Kool-aid), "sweat from a Kevlar," (Listerine), and "sand from a boot" (brown sugar).  Violators of the Rules of the Mess, issued earlier in the program, were directed to drink the pungent concoction.  Cadet Sheena Lee, an Army ROTC junior, visited the grog bowl more than anyone in attendance.

Cadet M.Benton, Captain P.Thorne, Ms. T.Townsend, Gen. B.Roberts, Master Sgt. D.Green,
Colonel R. Cross, Major L.Carter 

            Once President of the Mess, Cadet Damien Hughes, declared, "The meal is fit for human consumption," dinner was served.  Dinner was followed by remarks by guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Bryan T. Roberts, Fort Jackson’s (S.C.), Commanding General.  Brig. Gen. Roberts, a Distinguished Military Graduate of Eastern Michigan University Army ROTC, is a veteran of three tours in Iraq.  Roberts has also served as the deputy commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox., Ky., and as commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team with the 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas. He also served as a plans and operations officer in the White House military office and on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. 

Brig. Gen Roberts lauded Tuskegee's Army ROTC cadets for achieving the highest Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) score out of six other senior Army ROTC programs during 6th Brigade’s Joint Field Training Exercise in October.  He then shared his personal philosophy, which he calls “the 7 Be(s).”  “Be positive, be good at what you do, and be a team player,” he said to the audience of over 100 cadets, cadre members and guests.  Of primary importance, Brig. Gen. Roberts told the cadets, is to “Be disciplined—do what your boss says:  write things down and go do them.  And wear the right clothes to the right event!”  Further, he encouraged the audience to “Be good to people, listen to them” and to “Be of good character; your integrity is non-negotiable.”  Before he closed his remarks, he recognized several cadets and cadre members by presenting each of them his Commander’s challenge coin.

Entertainment for the evening came in the form of class skits in which the cadets depicted a typical day in life of a cadet, imitating cadre members and providing comic relief.

At the end of the evening Lt. Col. Cross presented Brig. Gen. Roberts with the Tuskegee University official medallion on behalf of President Gilbert Rochon, and a statue of a Tuskegee Airman from the Golden Tiger Battalion.