Back-to-Back Celebrations for MCJROTC: Veterans Day, USMC Turns 244

Posted November 13, 2019 / Last updated November 20, 2019

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This past week Jesuit’s MCJROTC had the privilege to celebrate not one but two important occasions for the U.S. armed services.

Veterans Day Morning Assembly

On Monday, Nov. 11, students and faculty were treated to a special presentation by the MCJROTC program at Morning Assembly, celebrating Veterans Day.

Happy Veterans Day Video from Fr. Chris Fronk, S.J., and Jesuit High School

In sync with the chime of the morning bell the MCJROTC band began the presentation by making an impressive musical entrance far above Traditions Courtyard on the second-floor balcony. Then with the MCJROTC color guard standing at attention, Cadet LtCol Dylan Blady led the student body in prayer. Following prayer, the MCJROTC band played the national anthem as the other cadets presented the colors. Major Jarrod Friloux then explained the signifance of Nov. 11, 2019 as marking the 101th anniversary of the end of the Great War—the War to End All Wars—World War I. After 1954, it has come to be a day to honor all veterans who served in our country’s military and fought in our nation’s wars.

Major Friloux then concluded assembly by taking a moment to recognize those members of the Jesuit community who have served, and continue to serve, in our nations armed forces:

  • Prefect of Discipline, Lary Abshire, Master Sergeant, U. S. Marine Corps (retired)
  • Science Teacher, Pam Catalano, Staff Sergeant, Louisiana Air National Guard (retired)
  • Senior Marine Instructor, Major Jarrod Friloux, U. S. Marine Corps (retired)
  • President of Jesuit High School, Fr. Christopher Fronk, Captain, United States Naval Reserve, Chaplain Corps
  • Maintenance Staff Personnel, Ernest Pierre, Staff Sergeant, U. S. Army and Army National Guard (retired)
  • Maintenance & Facilities Director, David Sansone, U. S. Marine Corps Reserve (retired)
  • Marine Instructor, Master Gunnery Sergeant J.R. Piseno, U. S. Marine Corps (retired)
  • Social Studies Teacher, Fr. Paul Shaughnessy, Commander, United States Navy, Chaplain Corps (retired)
  •  Maintenance Staff Personnel, Carl Smith, Petty Officer 3rd Class, U. S. Navy (retired)
  • Head football coach, Mark Songy, Sergeant, U. S. Army (retired)

MCJROTC Marine Corp Birthday Celebration

With great pride and reverence Jesuit’s MCJROTC celebrated the United States Marine Corps’ 244th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 12. 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.

View the Photo Gallery of the MCJROTC Marine Corps Birthday

During the ceremony, the MCJROTC recognizes a distinguished military guest. This year’s honoree was MSgt Lary “Top” Abshire who joined the Marine Corps in September 1967 and retired in April 1991. MSgt Abshire taught Marine Corps JROTC from 1991-2000 here at Jesuit High School. He left Jesuit to teach MCJROTC at Franklinton High School. The following year he was asked to return to Jesuit to assume the role  of Prefect of Discipline. He has been the Prefect for the past 19 years. 

After the colors were presented by the Color Guard, the Battalion Commander, Cadet LtCol Dylan Blady, cut the USMC birthday 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 LtCol Dylan Blady (senior) and Cadet Private Dylan Patel (pre-freshman) respectively.