Countdown to Commissioning
Annually, graduating seniors attend a formal dinner to capstone their journey through the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program. This end-of-the-year event is ran by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and hosted by the Military Officers Club of Corvallis (MOCC) to honor those cadets and midshipmen that are commissioning into their respective service. Along with a complimentary dinner, attendees received their second lieutenant rank, or Butter-Bars, and a one-year free membership to MOAA. This year’s dinner was at the Corvallis Country Club on May 19th. The Army had 32 attendees, Navy with 34, and the Air Force had 15.
I was home, getting ready for the evening, when my power went out. This has happened a few times before and so, like the other times, went outside and switched the breaker. That did not fix the problem and my neighbors seemed to have a similar problem. Being a good citizen, I called Pacific Power Company to report the down electricity, but more importantly, to learn what the problem was. It turned out that 16,000 customers were without power. The drive over to the country club was like trying to get through Portland traffic during rush hour. All the stoplights were blinking red; in other words, each intersection was now a four-way stop. During the first half of the dinner, the main topic of discussion for many was how they managed without power. Finally, the power was restored resulting in an uproar of cheers. Dinner was served as scheduled, minus a few dinner rolls.
Each graduating senior had assigned to them a sponsor for the evening. My sponsor was Mr. Charles and Jean Nelson. Charles was the Commandant of Cadets for Detachment 685 back in the ‘70s. It was surreal to talk with him as he was stationed in many of the same locations as I will be. Both he and his wife had a lot of advice and I enjoyed their company. It was nice to see the community support young and upcoming officers. The event was a fun, relaxing environment with only one hiccup, the power. But as they say, Flexibility is the key to Air Power.