Villanova NROTC Hosts its Annual Fall Parade


Maggie Graw/Villanovan Photography

Villanova NROTC Midshipmen at the Fall Parade.

Tallulah Laska, Staff Writer

The Villanova Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) held its annual Fall Parade at Mendel Field on Friday, Sept. 23. The parade featured the first-year candidates’ company, called India Company, and its ceremony for becoming Midshipmen (MIDN). Alongside the ceremony, a few Midshipmen were honored with awards and grants. There were also remarks made by the Guest of Honor, Admiral William J. Fallon, USN (ret.). 


The set-up of the parade included the Battalion Staff closest to the audience, with the adjutant in front of them facing the battalion. The battalion was split into Papa Company and Whiskey Company on either side of the color guard. The Villanova Band was stationed to the side of Mendel Field. 


MIDN 2/C Ryan Wall, USMCR, acted as the adjutant for the parade, instructing the battalion. Typically, there is a special ceremony during the parade that signifies the candidates’ transition to Midshipmen. This year, the India Company was so small that the separate ceremony for it was eliminated. 


“This year is different because we got smaller, so the candidates were officially integrated into the battalion at the end of the parade,” Wall said. 


Wall was awarded the Barclay-Morrison USMC Memorial Scholarship, which is given to an individual who embodies exceptional leadership skills, physical fitness and academic achievements. The other two awards, the Betelle Award for Mission Accomplishment and the Liberty Bell Award, were given to two first-years, MIDN 4/C Matthew Bauer, USNR, and MIDN 4/C Allyson Cutter, USNR, respectively. 


The Guest of Honor, Admiral William J. Fallon, USN, gave remarks about his time at the University and how it benefited him during his service in the Navy. He also spoke directly to the battalion, giving them his best pieces of advice. 


“To the Midshipmen, each and every one of you…there is no greater honor than to lead [your] people,” Fallon said. “But it starts here, in your training for leadership. You got a taste of teamwork, but now you’re going to see more of it. Collaborating with others to get the job done, together, for the common good.”


Admiral Fallon served in the U.S. Navy for 40 years following his Villanova graduation and commissioning in 1967. He honored a Villanova classmate and good friend P.J. Harrington, who gave his life during the Vietnam war, with words of wisdom for every person in the crowd, not just the battalion members. 


“Don’t waste time…be as good as you can be,” Fallon concluded. “Enjoy what you do. Enjoy your lives.” 


Following Fallon’s speech, the battalion, with its newly integrated Midshipmen, conducted its Pass in Review. This consists of the final march around Mendel Field. Once the march was complete, the ceremony was concluded. The battalion was dismissed and each Midshipman could find their friends and families. There were also post-parade refreshments, including Mission BBQ. 


The Villanova NROTC put in a lot of hard work for the Fall Review Parade. MIDN 2/C William Higgins, USNR, is a member of the Battalion Staff who led part of the parade. Higgins reflected on the training over the past few weeks leading up to the event, showing his pride in NROTC and his fellow Midshipmen. 


“It took us a lot of training and early mornings, but we ended up executing it very well,” Higgins said. “I’m proud of everyone.” 


Congratulations to all the newly inducted 4/C Midshipmen and the three award recipients for their accomplishments.