Drawing together student service members from across the District and the world, Georgetown’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps hosted a Veterans Day ceremony honoring the sacrifices of military men and women.
A crowd of about 30 civilians gathered in Georgetown’s McShain Lounge for the annual event, which featured military customs and a keynote address by Brigadier Phil Jones, a representative of the British Army Staff.
In his speech, Jones emphasized that “our collective future is in your [the cadets’] hands.” He congratulated the cadets and expressed confidence in their ability to serve their country.
With a steady, elegant voice, Jones read an anonymous piece that profiled the average soldier as a 19-year-old “half-man, half-boy” who has “seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.”
Jones, who attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned in 1981, has served 12 operational tours.
Lt. Col. George Pivik, a professor of military science and commander of the battalion, introduced Jones and honored the rich history of the battalion that dates back to the 1830s.
The battalion includes 148 students from GW, Georgetown, American, Catholic, and the Institute of World Politics, said Cadet Captain S1 Julienne Denecke, a GW senior in charge of personnel. GW’s 43 students make up the largest platoon in the battalion.
GW students also control important day-to-day operations – Cadet Second Lieutenant Jon Woislaw, a senior at GW and Assistant S5, is in charge of civilian-military relations, media, recruitment, and retention.
Pivik, who praised the academic and military accomplishments of the cadets, said that he and the cadets maintain a “respectful, close-distance relationship.”
“I do my duty but people before me have paid an ultimate price,” said Cadet Second Lieutenant Nathan Barnes, who was deployed in Afghanistan from the summer of 2004 to 2005.