Dining Out event unifies ROTC


Photo by Melanie Flint

By Kristi Lucchetta, Staff Writer

From formal handshakes to jokes being passed back and forth, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program organized a Dining Out event where cadets and guests dressed in their best.

“A Dining Out is a formal military event, much like a Military Ball,” said Cadet Miranda Munsell who organized the event. “The Dining Out is a little more glamorous.”

The event took place on Feb. 20 at The Spokane Club and was open to all EWU ROTC alumni and students, as well as their guests.

As the night began, ROTC member and EWU junior Antonio Montez played the piano as everyone started to fill the downstairs area of the hotel.

“This event is a big deal for our program,” said EWU senior Michael Hantho. “Even though it is formal it is meant to be light-hearted.”

Hantho, who holds an advisory position for the ROTC program, helped write the script for the evening. The president, EWU senior Brian Trabun, and the vice president, EWU senior Zane Kennedy, ran the event while entertaining the crowd and introducing the guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Alan Westfield.

Westfield is a ROTC alum of EWU and is now a professor of military science and enrollment officer for Gonzaga University’s ROTC Bulldog Battalion.

The evening started with social hour. The cadets along with family and friends filled a room with two long tables that held army uniforms, pictures and memorabilia.

“This gives the cadets a chance to invite family and meet with alumni,” said EWU professor of military science Jason Pape. “We do events like this each year and with this event we can let our hair down a little bit more.”

Every year the ROTC program has a formal event. The annual Dining In event is only for the ROTC members and takes place on campus, where the Dining Out event allows members to bring significant others, family or friends with them and is usually off campus.

Around 6 p.m the crowd was directed into the dining room where tables were covered with white tablecloths and elegant dining ware. Napkins were folded intricately on top of programs provided for each guest. The students and guests all shared a toast and enjoyed a catered dinner.

“Every year, the grog is one of the most entertaining parts of the night,” said Munsell. If a person disobeys the rules they must drink a cup of grog, which is a mixture of food and drink. To prove they finished the cup they have to flip the cup upside down over their head.

This year the grog included apple sauce, chocolate syrup, ice cream and hot sauce. Some of the rules were meant to be funny and some others were a matter of respect.

To end the evening there was dancing in the dining room. The formal tables and chairs were pushed to the outside of the room to open a large area in the center for the dancing to take place.

“This is the first time we’ve had the Dining Out event since I’ve been in the program,” said Hantho. “This event allows us to build camaraderie and bring us together as a unit.”

Another ROTC event that will take place this quarter is a training on March 4.