On April 11, 2019, I volunteered at the ROTC Joint-Service Parade as an usher. But what is a Joint-Service Parade exactly? It is an event where members of Ohio State University’s ROTC programs march in uniform, salute and perform drill movements as part of an annual ceremonial presentation that dates back many years.
Why did I attend this ROTC event exactly? In one of my previous e-Portfolio articles, “The Forefront of Medicine: Life as an Army Physician” I wrote about how I got interested in ROTC, and why I considered joining one of the branches of the military, but back then I was not sure which one. After I wrote that post, I talked to a student who is in Air Force ROTC and is also in International Affairs at the same time. He then introduced me to the Air Force ROTC recruiting officer at Ohio State, so I could join at the start of the spring semester. Since I am a part of this program now, I decided that I wanted to volunteer at this awesome event, where all branches of Ohio State’s ROTC program participate.
The event took place on the Oval, and my job was basically to block one of the paths, so people don’t disturb the event by walking through the whole ceremony. Many would probably think that if someone sees at least a 100 people in military uniform performing a ceremony would go around the Oval for obvious reasons, but most people are just on their phone while walking and don’t realize what’s happening in front of their eyes. Every time this happened, I was the one who stopped that person and asked not to go through the ceremony.
I found it interesting that there is not much information about the parade on any of Ohio State’s ROTC websites, mostly those know about it who participate in this military program. Also, about 100 cadets participated in the event, which was hosted this year by the Air Force ROTC (it is hosted by a different branch every year).