ROTC color guard dazzles crowds The crowd squinted as the row of cadets crossed the field in perfect symmetry. Three flags led the group as they traveled the yard lines of Franklin Field before the cadets presented themselves to the University, their shining helmets gleaming in the sunlight. The color guard, part of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, dazzled fans at the Penn football game against Princeton earlier this month. They will also be appearing at several basketball games this season. More recently, the ROTC squad presented the flags of the Army and the United States at the Philadelphia Eagles football game last Sunday in Veterans Stadium. "The cadets had a lot of fun and it was an opportunity to see all the different forces," said Military Science Instructor Gavin Tunderman. "They stood tall, proud, representing the Army as they always do." For their debut on the national level -- the Eagles game was broadcast nationally -- the guard joined other area color guards on the field and formed a 'V' for Victory and for Veteran's Day. They then presented the flags and proceeded off the field before the game began. This appearance in the Vet was a shining point for the color guard. The ROTC program has had a color guard since throughout its entire life at Penn. But since Tunderman's arrival last year, the program has been rejuvenated. Tunderman said he has been a part of five different color guards during his 18 years of service in the Army and still enjoys it as much today as he did when he began. "I get goose chills every time I carry the national colors, because after 18 years of service, that's what I stand for," he said. Penn's color guard is made up of 12 men and women. All are members of ROTC who volunteer extra time to participate in the activities. The group practices after the normal ROTC labs -- the physical training sessions that take place at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday mornings. Gonzalez said that he and his fellow squad members do not participate in color guard because it is fun. "By doing the color guard at home football and basketball games it allows us to show the pride for the University, our country and what we do," he explained.Comments powered by Disqus
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