Battalion Helps Campus, Community Celebrate Veterans Day

Cadet Ian McCaughey, a junior at Scranton, commands the color guard at the Lackawanna County Veterans Day ceremony Friday, Oct. 11, in downtown Scranton.
Seniors Sidney Jaques (right) and Jenna Caserta (center) speak with Major General (retired) Fredrick Mauger prior to the start of The University of Scranton Veterans' Association Luncheon.

As the nation celebrated Veterans Day last week, the cadets and cadre of The University of Scranton Military Science Department assisted both the campus and local community in remembering veterans past and present. On Wednesday afternoon, the Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Remley, professor of military science, took part in a Veterans Day program at the Gino Merli Veteran’s Center in downtown Scranton where he served as the guest speaker. The event was attended by both residents of the center, as well as members of the local veterans’ organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Joining LTC Remley was the Captain Erin Leach, the department’s executive officer, as well as senior cadets Jenna Caserta and Sidney Jaques. After the formal portion of the ceremony the cadre and cadets had the opportunity to meet with the center’s residents and thank them for their service.

On Thursday evening, the Royal Warrior Battalion partnered with The University of Scranton’s Office of Multicultural Affairs to host a seminar entitled “Campus Cadet Culture."  Planned and organized by Tashika Griffith from the Multicultural Affairs Office and Sergeant First Class Joseph Wilkerson from the Military Science Department, the event was attended by more than 120 students, staff and faculty from the University and featured six of military science level IV cadets, who each spoke on their experiences in Army ROTC. The cadets addressed the challenges and uniqueness of being both a cadet and University student. MS IV cadets Jenna Caserta, Joshua Soto, Michael Horan, Sidney Jaques, Evan Dimakas and Christian Bayard addressed a number of different topics from being a nursing student and ROTC cadet, to what it takes to be a varsity athlete and cadet. Additionally, many of the cadets spoke to the many opportunities that Army ROTC had afforded them from attending military training programs like Airborne School to participating in the Army - Ten Miler in Washington, D.C., this past October.

On Friday morning, Sergeant First Class Joseph Wilkerson served as the guest speaker at the Lackawanna Country Veterans Day Ceremony in downtown Scranton. Additionally, as a crowd of local veterans, along with city and county official gathered in front of the county courthouse, cadets from the Royal Warrior Battalion posted the colors to honor the nation and mark the start of the event. SFC Wilkerson spoke about the importance of remembering our veterans and thank those veterans in the auidence. In closing, SFC Wilkerson shared with the crowd a poem which highlighted the role the Army’s non-commissioned oficers play in training, developing and caring for our soldiers.

Finally, at noon on Friday, 20 battalion members gathered in Brennan Hall's Rose Room to participate in The University of Scranton’s Veterans Association luncheon.  Once again a color guard comprised of cadets posted the colors to mark the start of the event and, following lunch and opening remarks from Ray Burd, organizer of the luncheon, the guest speaker, Major General (retired) Fredrick Mauger, a local World War II veteran, took to the podium. Major General (retired) Mauger, a friend of the Royal Warrior Battalion, spoke about his experiences of nearly three years of service as a young field artillery officer in the European Theater during the World War II. LTC Remley presented Major General (retired) Mauger with a battalion certification of appreciate and battalion coin as a token of thanks for helping the University celebrate and remember Veterans Day.