Vice Admiral Sean Pybus Speaks at MIT ROTC Pass in Review Ceremony

By Midshipman 3/c John Holland, Harvard '17, NROTC

Pass in Review ceremonyOn October 25, the MIT ROTC units held their annual Pass in Review ceremony, a long-standing military tradition in which a reviewing officer inspects and issues orders to troops. While the Pass in Review has become more of a ceremonial event over time, it still holds a great deal of significance. The MIT ROTC commitment to tradition was apparent as cadets and midshipmen skillfully executed drill commands after weeks of planning and rehearsals.

The ceremony, which took place during Family Weekend at MIT, had a high turnout of veterans, guests of honor, families, and friends. The parade consisted of a joint battalion staff, a joint color guard, and a company from each service branch represented at MIT. The Navy “Old Ironsides” Battalion was commanded by Midshipman Joanna Chen, MIT ’15. Cadet Molly McFadden, Harvard '15, commanded the Army “Paul Revere” Battalion, and Cadet Martin York, MIT ’16 commanded the Air Force “Doolittle’s Raiders” Detachment 365.

The MIT ROTC Units were honored to have Vice Admiral Sean Pybus, Deputy Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, as the guest speaker for the event. Pybus graduated from the University of Rochester in 1979 and earned a Navy commission through NROTC. He continued on to have a career in Navy special warfare, participating in special operations in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In his speech, Pybus encouraged midshipmen and cadets to branch out and expand their horizons because as military leaders, they will require a broad range of skills and knowledge. No matter what community the students enter upon commissioning, he said, they must always strive to do their jobs to the best of their abilities and be the best leaders they can be. Commitment and effort are paramount, he said, in these days of tight budgets and reduced force numbers. Finally, Pybus stressed that “as a leader you will fail, and you will fall. What is important is what happens when you get back up.”

All who witnessed the Pass in Review ceremony could feel the sense of pride and confidence from the cadets and midshipmen as they marched past and saluted the vice admiral and the guests of honor. The Pass in Review was an opportunity for veterans, active duty, and future military members to come together in their shared commitment to excellence and to serving a cause greater than themselves.