HBS students had the opportunity to experience military traditions as they joined the HBS Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA) as it celebrated the annual Veterans Ceremony in the The Williams Room on Wednesday November 14th. The purpose of this celebration is to serve as the capstone event of Veterans Week (Nov. 6-12), during which HBS Veterans share military history and camaraderie across Harvard University, including students, faculty, and staff.
As Captain Angelica Martinez, US Army (USA) and Fletcher School student stated: “The HBS Veteran’s event is a great opportunity for former and current service members from the Boston community to join together in order to celebrate our traditions. More importantly, it is a great opportunity to share those traditions with our classmates.” Captain Maura Sullivan (NI), US Marine Corps (USMC) and Captain Mike Lobach (NJ), USMC served as the MCs of the ceremony, which was conducted much like a typical U. S. Marine Corps Birthday Ball. Maura first explained the history of how the Marine Corps was founded (in a tavern, actually). Next, Midshipman from the Boston Naval ROTC Consortium posted the national and Marine Corps colors during the playing of the national anthem. Rye Barcott (NB) then read messages from General Lejeune, the Marine Commandant that instituted the Marine Corps Birthday celebration, and from General Conway, the current Marine Corps Commandant.
Lieutenant General Jack Klimp, USMC (Retired), a U. S. Naval Academy graduate and Marine infantry officer, made his remarks to the crowd of past, present, and future Veterans. He spoke about how being a Marine or a Veteran is mostly about people and about supporting others. General Klimp’s remarks were followed by the customary cake-cutting ceremony, during which time the youngest and oldest Marines present receive the first pieces of cake.
Upon concluding the ceremony, Maura Sullivan invited all attendees to meet at the bar in order to continue the festivities and the opportunity to share camaraderie with each other. She also pointed out the importance of making time for camaraderie when possible: “One of the reasons that I wanted to come to HBS was to be a part of the close-knit and vibrant military community here. ÿThe Veterans’ Day celebration was a memorable evening for me, particularly as we paid tribute to those HBS graduates who are back serving in harm’s way. ÿIt was an honor to share our Marine Corps Birthday traditions with our classmates and the HBS community.” At the moment, several HBS ’07 graduates have reactivated in the armed forces: Sarah Stokes, Donovan Campbell, Chris Mullins, Josh Levine, and Ann Gildroy.
The HBS AFAA would like to thank the corporate sponsors of this year’s ceremony, whose support made this event possible: The Eaton Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company, American Airlines, and the United Health Corporation.