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DHS Tiger Battalion holds Military Ball at Civic Center

The Demopolis High School Tiger Battalion, JROTC Program brought back a tradition on Feb. 23 when the group held its Military Ball at the Demopolis Civic Center.

According to Col. (Ret.) Larry D. Hearn, who serves as the DHS JROTC Senior Instructor, cadets spent days of class time learning etiquette in preparing for the military-style ball, which they plan to make an annual tradition.

Members of the 2018 DHS JROTC Royal Court included: Miss JROTC Cadet SFC Johntiqua Presswood, Miss Leadership Cadet MSG Kavalyn Bryant, Miss Black and Gold Cadet SGT Sacoyia Fikes, and Miss Tiger Pride Cadet Corporal Destiny Jackson.

“Although it has been years since the school had a ball, the students were excited to learn about the appropriate dress, forms of address and place settings in an effort to ensure a successful ball,” Hearn said. “Military balls, often referred to as Dining Outs, is thought to have formally began in 16th Century England, in monasteries and universities, though some records indicate that militaries have held formal dinners as far back as the Roman Legions.”

The evening began with a reception line. Students and cadets in uniform or floor-length dresses shook hands with the Demopolis High School JROTC Cadre and guests before finding their assigned seating in the civic center. The event was carefully planned and well executed. The ball room was a site to see. Each table was displayed with a center piece and formal place setting.

Hearn offered the first of nine toasts of the event. “To the United States of America,” he said. The others echoed him before sipping their none alcoholic beverages. Later the audience heard a powerful speech by guest speaker, Colonel (Ret.) Thomas H. Boggs, currently an attorney in Demopolis and Linden. Mr. Phillip Spence a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, presented a Cadet of the Year award to Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Aireka Riggs.

Later in the night, dancing followed performed to none profanity language music.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, March 3 issue of the Demopolis Times.)