Cadets Tour Pentagon, FEMA, Arlington Cemetery
Laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns are cadets Kandi Vaughn of VWIL, Malleri Mccrae of the W&L law school, and Troy Warcewicz and Sean Eberle of VMI. – Photo courtesy of Army ROTC.
LEXINGTON, Va., Dec. 12, 2011 – Twenty-one cadets from VMI Army ROTC's Marshall-New Market Battalion traveled to Washington, D.C., Dec. 9 to learn how the U.S. government and the military operate as a joint force. The cadets visited the Pentagon, Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, and the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
At the Pentagon, the cadets met with the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris. Harris had recently returned from Burma with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Wearing his Navy spirit sweater, Harris briefed the cadets on 10 leadership principles and on how the military operates on a joint level with other countries and branches of service. Afterward, Harris held a question and answer session.
At the FEMA headquarters, military liaisons from all services provided the cadets an in-depth view of how FEMA operates its National Response Command Center. NRCC is the control room where FEMA runs all its response operations during national crises. FEMA directors gave briefings about how FEMA and the military work together to mitigate these crises.
The final stop was Arlington National Cemetery. The cadets received a firsthand and rare glimpse of the inside of the crypt where the guards of the Tomb of the Unknowns conduct their training and daily operations. Four cadets had the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
At the end of the day, the cadets said that this trip had been one of the best experiences and leadership development opportunities they experienced at VMI. The Marshall New Market Battalion consists of cadets from VMI, Mary Baldwin College, Southern Virginia University, and Washington and Lee University.
–Christian Neubaum '12, VMI Army ROTC