The UNH ROTC program held its annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in the Memorial Union Building’s (MUB) Granite State Room (GSR) on Friday, Nov. 4, where three alumni were honored. Following the induction ceremony was a Veterans Day ceremony on the Thompson Hall (T-Hall) lawn. The three UNH alums inducted on Friday afternoon were Colonel J.C. Allard of the United States Army, and Colonels Edward A. Facey and Colleen M. Ryan of the United States Air Force.
UNH College of Liberal Arts (COLA) Associate Dean Ted Kirkpatrick presented the opening remarks to the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony with the inductions to the hall being made by retired Brigadier General Ronald M. Bouchard. Air Force ROTC Major Mathew Duston and Army ROTC Lieutenant Colonel and military science professor Bradley Nadig presented scholarships after the ceremony. Nadig also provided the closing remarks.
“I think the Veterans Day event is an awesome event, because it’s the best time that UNH and the public gets to see us doing our thing,” UNH sophomore ROTC member Alden Skillings said.
Skillings originally got involved with UNH ROTC over the summer at orientation. “I immediately fell in love with the program,” Skillings said. “It’s a really good environment. People think ‘ROTC’ or ‘military’ and they kind of jump to this West Point mentality, when we actually have a really supportive environment.”
UNH alum Paul Ayers graduated from the Air Force ROTC program in 1981 and served in both the Gulf War and the Iraq War before he was inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame in 2014.
“It is a huge honor for a whole bunch of reasons. The fact is that the legacy continues,” Ayers said. “If you look at the people who have previously been inducted, and then you look to our future, it is an honor to be part of that group of people.”
Following the Hall of Fame Induction, a retreat ceremony was held at T-Hall in honor of Veteran’s Day.
Air Force ROTC Operations Group Commander and Officer in Charge (OIC) Harry Gustin, Assistant S3 and OIC Nick Silvia, and Cadet Battalion Executive Officer for Wildcat Battalion Jack Templeton worked together to organize the event.
“So for Veteran’s Day, we always put on a ceremony, and one of the things we did is a flag vigil,” Gustin said.“We had cadets stand there the whole day in half-hour increments. And that actually in itself took three separate practices. From six in the morning ‘till four in the afternoon, they’d stand guard in half-hour shifts.”
“The one thing that we all enjoy about today is that we can see what we’re working for and what we’re a part of,” Silvia said of the event. “Seeing the pride that veterans still have 30–40 years out of the army and air force, it means a lot to us and it really gives me something to look forward to.”