Cove JROTC brings military tradition to homecoming festivities
Fri, 2016-09-09 05:00 News Staff
By Donovan Ritchie
CCHS JROTC PAO 2LT
The entire audience in the stadium held its breath awaiting the announcement. As the names of the new homecoming king and queen were revealed, the Copperas Cove High School JROTC saber team snapped into action lifting its silver sabers to form an arch under which the new royalty to cascaded.
The saber arch performed by the JROTC Bulldawg Battalion is a tradition at Cove High. But, the saber arch is actually a wedding tradition performed worldwide by the military for the start of the lives of newlyweds. Originating in the Royal Navy, the tradition involves the bride and groom passing under the honorary arch of sabers typically as they are leaving the building.
After the wedding is officiated, the military officers and non-commissioned officers comprising the saber team stand outside of the hallway of the building and on command, the saber team raises its sabers into a high arch with the blades facing away from the bride and groom. As the bride and groom are exiting the building, the senior usher introduces them as a military couple including the service member’s rank. As the couple proceeds through the arch, the saber bearer to the left of the bride welcomes her to the specific branch of service into which she has married. The saber bearer at the end of the line announces, “Kiss required to pass,” and the bride must kiss the groom.
The CCHS JROTC Color Guard comprised of four cadets perform this tradition although the homecoming couple is not required to kiss to pass through the final arch of sabers nor are the king and queen bound in holy matrimony. But having the saber arch makes homecoming a truly memorable event, said CCHS Director of Student Services Amal Baty.
“This tradition is so beautiful and so elegant that it adds to the credibility of the crowning ceremony,” Baty said. “It makes you feel like you are in a royal country or kingdom or even in a fairy tale where kings and queens walk into the promised land. Most importantly, it makes the students memories even more special.”
Cadet Colonel Noah Gamo was a member of the saver team and says it is a memory he will cherish.
“Nothing is better than being in uniform honoring our military for this special time at the high school,” he said.
In addition to providing the saber arch, the JROTC Color Guard also posted the colors of the American and Texas flags as they do at every home football game as well as various school and community functions throughout the year.
Cadet Captain Tyler Nace said serving in this capacity makes him stand a little taller.
“Being in the color guard fills me with pride and I like what I do for the Copperas Cove Core of cadets,” Nace said.