Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School Joint Service JROTC Military Ball

Authored by: MAJ (R) Daniel Erskine
Photos by: MAJ (R) Daniel Erskine

A Gala of Excellence – The Joint Service JROTC Military Ball

An extraordinary event unfolded on February 23rd, 2024 at ChangePoint Church in Anchorage, Alaska, where the essence of camaraderie and elegance merged seamlessly. South High School proudly hosted a Joint Service JROTC Military Ball, drawing participation from ten high schools across Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley School Districts.

The participating schools included Bettye Davis East Anchorage, Dimond, Bartlett, West, South, Eagle River, Chugiak, Wasilla, Colony, and Robert Service High School. This grand affair, attended by approximately 650 Cadets adorned in formal service uniforms and elegant ball gowns, showcased the epitome of military discipline intertwined with the grace and sophistication these programs have to offer.

As the evening commenced with a multi-door receiving line, the atmosphere crackled with excitement and anticipation. Herds of Cadets entered the waiting room, each uniform immaculate and every gown exquisitely gracing the floor. The gravity of the occasion was palpable, evident in the awestruck expressions of the guests who bore witness to the event’s solemnity.

Following the receiving line, the first event unfolded with the reception of the royal court, featuring representatives from each school. This ceremonial moment underscored the unity and camaraderie shared among the participating Cadets, as they stood shoulder to shoulder, representing their respective institutions with pride and honor.

“It was a unique military experience,” remarked Cadet/First Sergeant Briana Dupree, encapsulating the sentiment shared by many who attended. The ball not only exemplified the military ethos but also fostered a sense of inclusivity and warmth that resonated throughout the night.

The ballroom buzzed with giggles, laughter, and heartfelt salutations as Cadets mingled with their peers and introduced their guests. The receiving line, a symbol of hospitality and unity, welcomed everyone with open arms and radiant smiles, further amplifying the sense of camaraderie and fellowship.

Retired Major Rusty Topf, observing the event, remarked, “Watching these kids experience a classy event at this level warms my heart.” Indeed, the Military Ball transcended the boundaries of a typical high school event, offering an unforgettable experience that celebrated unity, excellence, and the indomitable spirit of our future leaders.

The flashing lights of the photo booth illuminated the joyous moments shared, capturing memories that would be cherished for years to come. From the solemnity of the receiving line to the jubilant atmosphere of the ballroom, every aspect of the evening reflected the dedication and professionalism of the participating Cadets.

In a world often characterized by division and discord, the Joint Service JROTC Military Ball stood as a beacon of unity, reminding us of the power of camaraderie and shared purpose. As the night drew to a close, hearts full and spirits lifted, it was evident that this gathering had honored tradition and forged bonds long after the final dance.

On a cold February evening, history was made in the hallowed halls of Change Point Church as Cadets from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate their commitment to service, duty, and honor. It was a night to remember—a testament to the strength of character and the promise of a brighter future, forged in the crucible of unity and excellence.

A public thank you to South Anchorage High School AFJROTC cadre and Cadet are owed for providing a special evening!