ROTC cadet 2nd Lt. Theodore Allen of Alabama A&M University had quite a lunch April 9 at the Officers and Civilians Club.
He was among the guests at the Military Officers Association of America's program honoring ROTC and Junior ROTC cadets. He even got to cut the ceremonial cake with retired Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, the MOAA president and keynote speaker, and Garrison commander Col. John Olshefski.
After the luncheon, Allen was asked why he wants to become an Army officer.
"Basically to help my country," replied Allen, 21, a junior from College Park, Ga. "It seems like there's a shortage of officers so somebody has to be there to answer the call. Somebody has to do it."
Ryan gave an update of the national association's work in Washington and praised the Huntsville chapter, the cadets and their instructors.
"Thanks for your example, it's inspiring to me," Ryan said. "I'll take that message back to Washington and we'll work harder on your behalf."
The 53 attendees included the following invited guests:
Aca,!Ac Alabama A&M University - retired Lt. Col. Louis Harris and cadet Allen; Athens High - retired Lt. Col. Samuel Scruggs and cadet 1st Lt. William Morse; Austin High - retired Lt. Col. James Walker and cadet Sgt. Autumn Guyse; Bob Jones High - retired Air Force Lt. Col. Randy Herd and cadet Maj. Veyonka Owens; Brewer High - retired Lt. Col. Randy Pestona and cadet Capt. Marty Sengstacke; Buckhorn High - retired Lt. Col. Robert Hartley and cadet Master Sgt. Peter Anderson; Butler High - retired Air Force Col. Mike Parsons and cadet Lt. Col.Marcell Battle; Columbia High - retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Harry Hobbs and cadet Capt. Schyler Miller; Courtland High - retired Col. Robert Robinson and cadet Cpl. Katonya Davenport;
Aca,!Ac Grissom High - retired Col. Rodney Johnson and cadet 2nd Lt. Stephanie Sommers; Hazel Green High - retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Paul Matheny; Huntsville High - retired Air Force Lt. Col. Hollis Bagley and cadet 2nd Lt. Michael Bray; Johnson High - retired Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Everett Hodges and cadet 1st Lt. Chontia Ford; Lawrence County High - retired Chief Warrant Officer 3 Floyd Baker and cadet Maj. Shanade Keel; Lee High - retired Col. Michael Coleman and cadet 2nd Lt. Jared Williams; Madison County High - retired Lt. Col. Cary Hale and cadet 1st Lt. Cotoya Bone; and Sparkman High - retired Lt. Col. Elliout Cunningham and cadet 1st Sgt. Joshua Reece.