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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU ROTC hosts Thanksgiving dinner for cadets

New Mexico State University Army and Air Force ROTC leadership will plan, prepare and execute a pre-Thanksgiving feast for the cadets of ROTC programs at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Lt. Col. (Retired) Dan Dillow and 2nd Lt. Gene Ramsey replenish the stuffing supply during the New Mexico State University ROTC and Air Force ROTC annual pre-Thanksgiving dinner last year in Young Hall. Sgt. 1st Class Russell Edwards looks on in the background. (Photo by Dani De Luca)

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

"This Thanksgiving tradition has been going on at the detachment for many years," said Lt. Col. Steve Groll, AFROTC commander. "Army and Air Force ROTC expects a lot from our cadets and we want to take this time, an operational pause if you will, to thank each of them for their many contributions."

Preparations for the feast will begin in the early morning hours and will last until all the food has been eaten.

Groll said this Thanksgiving dinner tradition is common in military units everywhere, especially upon deployment.

"I once heard a quote many years ago that now serves to embody my leadership style," Groll said: 'People want to know how much you care before they care how much you know.' This is our chance to come together jointly and show them that we do care."

After the feast, the Army and Air Force ROTC cadets will compete in their annual football game, the "Toilet Bowl," at Aggie Memorial Stadium. This tradition, more than 25 years old, has 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 of 4-0. No tickets are required and admission is free.

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