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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU military groups host Thanksgiving dinner for cadets

New Mexico State University Army and Air Force ROTC leadership will plan, prepare and execute a pre-Thanksgiving feast for cadets of ROTC programs, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20.


The cadre, while in full dress uniform, will serve the cadets free Thanksgiving food in Young Hall at the Las Cruces campus. A group of officers and staff will split up the cooking of turkeys, dozens of chafing dishes filled with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and vegetables and countless pies and desserts.

All of this is an undertaking which must begin at 2 a.m. the day of festivities according to ROTC leaders. Each chef will prepare and cook their assigned items in their home kitchens and bring the items to campus the morning of the feast.

"It's something we've been doing for a long, long time and a good tradition to have," said Lt. Col. Bradley Gavle, professor of military science at NMSU College of Arts and Sciences. More than 200 guests are expected to attend, and the feast will last until the food runs out, Gavle said.

"It is our way of saying 'thanks' to these cadets and all they do for their campus, their community and their country," said Lt. Col. Steve Groll, professor of aerospace studies at NMSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Later that day, the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets will compete in their annual football game, the "Toilet Bowl" at a field location to be announced. This tradition, more than 25 years old, had a "trophy" attached to it within the last few years. The prize awarded to the team who is victorious? - A toilet bowl. Since the teams started playing for the trophy, the Army ROTC team has a record, 3-0. There are no tickets required and admission is free.

"It's the only time of year the Army isn't friends with the Air Force," Gavle said, with a laugh.

For more information on these events, contact (575) 646-4030 or (575) 646-2136.