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ROTC programs come together for annual awards

Monday, April 12, 2004

The Daily Utah Chronicle
By Cara Wieser

Cadets in Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC stood in formation April 8 in HPER West, the groups side by side, as seven of their best were awarded for their academic and military achievements at the U.

The annual Tri-Service Review began, as with all military ceremonies, with the playing of the national anthem and the presentation of the flag by the color guard.

Afterward, David Pershing, senior vice president for academic affairs, presented trophies to Air Force cadets Lindon Steadman and Jake Wilberg, Army cadets Scott Fennel and Leonard Jensen, and from the Navy ROTC, midshipman 1st class David Gentner and John Grothe and Marine Sgt. Aaron Warby.

Pershing called the ceremony "one of the most distinguished and beautiful affairs we do on campus" and welcomed students and their families, who were watching from the stands.

After congratulating the award recipients as well as every other ROTC participant, Pershing offered them some advice.

"Recognize the power of teams," he said, telling students to be appreciative of the people "under you, not just above you."

"Don't be afraid of making mistakes," he said, "and believe in yourself and be willing to take calculated risks."

This summer, each student will complete military officer training and begin careers in the military.

"I'm looking forward to going to Florida," said Gentner, who will spend this summer in naval flight training. Gentner, as one of the recipients of the President's Trophy, was chosen by commanding officers as the "single most outstanding member" of the Navy ROTC program.

Gentner, a senior from Westminster, said his grades, physical fitness and ranking from peers and superior officers contributed to his selection.

The award, which is also based on leadership and service to the unit, was also presented to Army cadet Fennel and Air Force cadet Steadman.

Steadman plans to graduate next year and attend pilot training school. He is currently majoring in meteorology.

Fennell attends the U on a four-year ROTC scholarship and will attend infantry officer training school this summer. After training, he'll begin service as a platoon leader.