Penn Navy ROTC Battalion Celebrates Pass in Review – and 72 Years on Campus

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820April 20, 2012

There was a time, decades ago, when military Reserve Officer Training Corps programs were not welcome at some colleges and universities.  While some institutions of higher education are now reinstating their ROTC programs, the University of Pennsylvania never booted its Naval ROTC unit off campus.  And now, 72 years after being established at Penn, NROTC is still an active part of University life.

Each spring at Penn, NROTC holds a Pass in Review ceremony.  At this year’s event, nearly 50 future officers in the Navy and Marine Corps marched at The Palestra.

Pass in Review, a long-standing military tradition, historically was a way for a newly assigned commander to inspect his troops.  Today, however, it is a way to mark the midshipmen’s “graduation” in a special ceremony, aside from Commencement, and to share these traditions and customs with family members and guests.

Six members of the Penn-based NROTC battalion, including three students from Drexel University and one from Temple University, will be graduating in May.  Three graduates will go on to become surface warfare officers, one will become a Naval flight officer and two will become Marine officers

“For these six, Pass in Review marks their last official ceremony as midshipmen,” says Lt. Ashley Lorenz, the senior class advisor for the NROTC unit at Penn.  “In just a few weeks, they will be sworn in as Navy and Marine Corps officers.”

The seniors will be commissioned on May 12.

During Pass in Review, Penn student and Midshipman 1/C Amanda Spaeder, the spring 2012 battalion commanding officer, handed over the helm to Midshipman 2/C James Vika, the fall 2012 battalion commanding officer.

“Our Spring Review ceremony symbolizes the transition to new battalion leadership and, most important for most midshipmen, the beginning of a new year,” Lorenz explains.  “It is an incredible way to celebrate the many accomplishments of our midshipmen.”

These accomplishments, in part, were recognized during an award ceremony that involved many local veterans organizations. 

Additionally, three swords were presented during Pass in Review: the Philadelphia Chapter Surface Navy Association Sword, The Navy League of the United States Gerard M. Mauer Memorial Sword and the Professor of Naval Science Sword.

“The ceremony also celebrates the important collaboration between our unit, Penn, Drexel, Temple and local organizations,” Lorenz said. “It highlights our combined commitment to our students.”

The guest speaker at this year’s Pass In Review was Dennis DeTurck, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.