Cadets Score Outstanding Marks in Annual U.S. Marine Inspection

Posted December 17, 2013 / Last updated December 18, 2013

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From The Blue Jay, Vol. 86, No. 3, December 2013

By Donald Barrett
The officers and guides of the Jesuit MCJROTC Battalion stand with Lieutenant Colonel Stroman.

The officers and guides of the Jesuit MCJROTC Battalion stand with Lieutenant Colonel Stroman.

For many weeks and countless hours all cadets in the Jesuit MCJROTC program prepared diligently for the most important day of the year, annual inspection.

This yearly event is a day when Marine Corps inspectors are sent to Jesuit to assess the cadets on drill, uniform, and knowledge. The preparations included checking uniforms for the smallest discrepancies, practicing drill at any time possible, and studying general knowledge of the Corps.

Every other year, Lt. Col. Mark Stroman, the Region 5 MCJROTC director, leads the inspection, adding to the intensity.

Inspection tests not only a cadet’s knowledge but his bearing, to see if he can maintain the proper serious posture of an officer and remain collected in a stressful situation.

“What sound does Pac-man make?”

“Sir, pew-pew-pew, sir!”

General knowledge questions about the Corps might include such facts as being able to name the first female Marine or naming 14 traits of leadership.

Inspectors also scrutinize uniforms for stray threads, the proper creases, and other appearance regulations. The final part of inspection is drill, requiring the most practice and unit discipline, as each platoon must be in sync while performing the proper movements.

The day began with an individual final review of everything that the cadets needed to know. Then they marched out to Will Clark Field, where they were met by the 12 inspectors, who scrutinized every detail our uniforms. There was a lot of yelling, but this was another way inspectors tested the cadets’ bearing. Then came the climax of the inspection, as the cadet units marched out for the drill, as Lt. Col. Stroman observed.

Once again, Jesuit’s MCJROTC did very well, scoring high marks. Each inspector picked one cadet who performed best. A dozen cadets, ranging from pre-freshmen to seniors, received outstanding ratings.

They were seniors Charlie Kurtz and Brett Dipuma, juniors Tyler Robins and Douglas Dillon, sophomore Peter Espinoza, freshmen Brooks Simons, John Crowson, Christian Crout, Travis Kieff, Noah Griffin, and Jared Tonglet, and pre-freshman, Thomas Sagona.

Lt. Col. Stroman also selected a platoon that he thought did best in drill. Led by the platoon commander, Alex Scalco, Alpha Company’s first platoon did best in drill, but all cadets in general did extremely well in that category.

Under the direction and guidance of Lt. Col. Timothy Huete and Master Gunnery Sgt. J.R. Piseno, the annual inspection required plenty of hard work and effort, but it was worth it.  Many cadets were nervous going into inspection, but looking back most of us would say that it was a great experience.

Cadet Noah Tobin put it best. “It was stressful, but it was nice to get a glimpse into the life of a Marine.”