The Viking Battalion was asked to help un-fold & display the Largest U.S., Flag (which weighs over 980 pounds) at the historical Rose Bowl Stadium at Half-time of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) vs. Colorado Buffaloes on the 13th of November, 2021 in conjunction with UCLA Annual Salute to our Nation’s Veterans. Each year UCLA honors our Veterans. This year attendance at the game was over 36,000 and the Bruins won 44-20!
The UCLA ROTC Bruin Battalion along with the UCLA Athletic Department requested from the Los Angeles Unified School District Junior ROTC Department and COL Darryl W. Hensley, Ret., Director of Army Instruction if he could support this event with cadets throughout the district. COL Hensley, Ret., tasked the Viking Battalion to take charge and “make it happen”. The Viking Battalion has done this tribute to our Nation Hero’s in the past and was up to the task.
This would be the first time our cadets have been able to perform at a large event with a large number of cadets altogether since 16 March 2020 when the Los Angeles Unified School District, along with the rest of the Country shut down to slow down the spread of COVID-19. The Viking Battalions Special Project Officer C/1LT Suzette Neri-Salmeron & Training & Operations Officer C/CPT Ashley Espinoza and her assistant C/MSG Tanya Juarez-Nolasco gather all the required documentation needed to perform this task. All the Junior ROTC units were invited to bring cadets to support this task. The following units were able to participate:
- Van Nuys HS: 9 Cadets and 2 Instructors
- Canoga Park HS: 6 Cadets and 1 Instructor
- Gardena HS: 12 Cadets and 2 Instructors
- Jordan HS: 13 Cadets and 2 Instructors
- Washington HS: 7 Cadets and 2 Instructors
- California Cadet Corps: 17 Cadets and 4 Instructors
- James Monroe HS: 64 Cadets and 1 Instructor
- LAUSD Headquarters: DAI & Assistant DAI
We could not have pulled this event off without the help of our District’s Military Property Specialist 1SG Antonio Rico, Ret., for procuring all the required OCP’s for this and making sure all the cadets were IAW required uniforms needed.
Chancellor Gene D. Block stated “UCLA takes its obligation to the veterans in our community very seriously. The day marks an important opportunity to express our gratitude for the courage, commitment, and sacrifice demonstrated by America’s veterans — a group that counts many Bruins among them.” Please click below to watch the presentation. Because the file is large, you may have to download it to see it or copy paste link to browser.
Video Credit: Trini Mujica, Chaperone, at the Rose Bowl Veterans Tribute, Pasadena, Ca.