Durant’s First Ever Country Themed Mil Ball Was Cancelled Due To COVID

Rachel Hesse, Managing Editor

Do the Ho Down and Do-Si-Do, swing your partner to and fro” would have potentially been part of the soundtrack for this year’s JROTC Military Ball. Unfortunately, just like homecoming and last year’s prom, it had to be cancelled due to the high risk of potential COVID-19 exposure.  

The Military ball, otherwise called Mil Ball by the cadets, is a “traditional gathering of people within the unit, in this case our core cadets, to extend the custom and curtesy of the United States Air Force [in a] formal dinner, [also] called a mess,” according to Chief Johnson of the JROTC program.  

The Mil Ball is hosted every year and consists of formal dining protocols with an opening ceremony, Madam Vice and Mister Vice, a Master of Ceremony, a prisoner of war (POW) and missing in action (MIA) table that recognizes fallen brethren and sisters, and then typically ends with a dance.  

This year, to try and appease COVID protocols, JROTC had planned to have more of a barn style Mil Ball hosted at the Wishing Well in hopes of limiting chances of exposure.  

Each attendee would have been sat six to a table of 10 to space out the cadets and their significant others/escorts as well as having been taught several line and square dances as an alternative to the usual dances in hopes of keeping attendees spread out more to reduce chances of COVID exposure.  

As according to tradition, the senior cadets oversee the planning othe Mil Ball for the rest of the unit and so not being able to partake in Mil Ball is especially disappointing to seniors CJ Marra and Justin Rivera as they lost their chance to take part in their last Mil Ball hoorah.  

“[I was looking forward to] the grog party… we were planning on making this concoction of a bunch of different things that are really disgusting the everyone has to drink if they do something wrong, which is really funny every year,” says Marra. 

Overall, there were about 85 cadets and dates that had already signed up to attend Mil Ball, with a large number of them having already paid the $35 fee, which will be refunded to them, with the last date to sign up coming up on February 19.  

Due to a deposit with the Wishing Well not wanting to be gone to waste, Mil Ball will be rescheduled for earlier in the year in October of next year, rather than in the typical March time frame. Also, Chief Johnson is planning on making it up to senior cadets missing out on Mil Ball using the end of the year awards ceremony.