MCJROTC Celebrates Marine Corps’ Birthday with Guest of Honor Fr. Fronk
On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Jesuit’s MCJROTC celebrated the United States Marine Corps’ 242nd birthday with great pride and reverence. Since Nov. 1, 1921, the Marine Corps birthday celebration has served, by the order of then-Commandant Gen. John A. LeJuene, as a reminder of the accomplishments of the Corps’ service. Each year, Marines across the globe gather to commemorate the Corps’ founding with a traditional birthday cake-cutting celebration. Jesuit’s MCJROTC acknowledges this tradition with its own ceremony for friends and family of cadets.
During the ceremony, the MCJROTC recognizes a distinguished military guest. This year’s honoree was CDR Christopher Fronk, CHC, USNR who has completed several operational tours of duty to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Persian Gulf and counts two Meritorious Service Medals among his honors. Fr. Fronk was commissioned in 1994 via the Chaplain Candidate Officer Program and has since served as a chaplain with the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. His recent active duty assignments were as the chaplain for the 2D Marine Division (FWD), USCG TRACEN Cape May, NJ, and Command Chaplain on USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77). Fr. Fronk departed active duty in November of 2016 in order to assume the position of President of Jesuit High School. He was recently selected for promotion to Captain and currently serves as a reservist with the 4th Marine Division located in New Orleans.
Fr. Fronk spoke about “Semper Fidelis”—the Latin motto of the U.S. Marine Corps—which translates as always faithful. He encouraged the junior reserve officers to be faithful to God, family, friends, and country, saying “When we have faith in those, we can then have faith in our mission in life.” Fr. Fronk concluded by asking the young cadets to consider a military or chaplain life after Jesuit, reminding them that, “We need good men, such as yourselves.”
After the colors were presented by the Color Guard, the Battalion Commander, Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Mel Allen, cut the cake with an NCO (non-commissioned officer) sword. As is tradition, the first piece was given to the guest of honor, with the second and third pieces going to the oldest and youngest cadets present, Cadet First Sergeant Noel Vargas (senior) and Cadet Private Andrew Cheung (pre-freshman) respectively.