Written by: SGM (Ret) Allen Ashton
The Wiesbaden High School JROTC Warrior Battalion supported the USA Garrison Wiesbaden and US Army Installation Command Europe during Harlem Globetrotter event on Saturday 25 March 2023.
The Warrior Battalion’s color guard team presented the colors of the United States of America, Federal Republic of Germany, and United States Army Garrison Wiesbaden in the Clay Fitness Center to nearly 3,000 fans. The USAG Wiesbaden Operations Staff offered the opportunity to support special community event and the Warrior Battalion quickly accepted the mission for a color guard with the team of 8th Grade Cadets. The Harlem Globetrotters were brought to Europe to entertain the troops and families stationed in Europe by the US Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) and Armed Forces Entertainment programs.
The evening began with the introduction of the Washington Generals, then the fan favorites Harlem Globetrotters ran onto the court. The crowd came alive with a roar and cheers that shook Clay Fitness Center. After the warm-up and shoot around the teams moved to opposing free throw lines facing to the center for the opening ceremonies. The Warrior Color Guard team stood on the end line motionless, perfectly aligned with rifles and uniform items glistening under the lights awaiting their cue to march on.
The announcer first welcomed the fans to the event then asked them to stand for the opening ceremony. The crowd rose and grew silent as the five cadets were announced individually. Then Cadet Corporal Varela issued the command- the five cadets stepped off in unison to take the floor. The team marched in step and well aligned on to the court with all eyes on them marching to the center of the court. The color guard halted at center court then the lights in the fitness center faded to black with only the center lights shining down on court center. The effect of a darkened forum with brilliant lights shining down spotlighted the Color Guard perfectly as they stood still and silent at present arms. The crowd of nearly 3,000 fans remained in reverent silence during the playing of the two anthems while the two basketball teams stood aligned on opposing free throw lines. The color guard executed order colors, then marched off sharply in a right wheel to return to the endline and passing through the line of Globetrotters. The crowd’s cheer and applause grew for the Warriors Color Guard as the colors moved off the court then marched out of sight.
The team and player introductions commenced leading to a night of fun and entertainment. This night with the Harlem Globetrotters highlighted Wiesbaden coming together for a major sporting event which stood in stark comparison to the lack of community gatherings during 2020-2022 due to isolating Covid restrictions.
Members of the Color Guard cased the colors, grounded the equipment, then joined the fun. They took their seats in the reserved VIP Section behind the Globetrotters bench. The Warrior Battalion had the opportunity to employ the color guard team consisting exclusively of 8th grade cadets. The challenge was the event occurred during the DoDEA Europe Spring Recess with nearly all cadets in travel mode with their families seeking to get out of town and see Europe. The eager and excited cadets quickly volunteered for the mission. The highly motivated cadets formed up, trained together developing drill and leadership skills to present the nation’s colors in Wiesbaden’s largest community event in the last three years. The cadets seized their opportunity to perform as Warrior Battalion Color Guard and excelled in doing so.
This community entertainment event marks the fifth major collaboration between Wiesbaden HS Warrior Battalion and USAG Wiesbaden and a full-fledged return of the Warriors hosting a wide range of championship sporting events for US Army Installation Command-Europe. (IMCOM-E). These collaborations included providing Color Guard teams for 1) IMCOM-E Community Soccer Championships, 2) IMCOM-E Unit Flag Football Championships, 3) IMCOM-E Varsity Basketball Championship Tournament, 4) IMCOM-E Unit Level Basketball Championship tournament.
Top Photo Caption: Warriors at the ready line. From left to right Cadets Isaac Nichols, Alexander Varela, Ryan Moore, Catherine Mellon, and Tuvia Jean Louis (Photo Credit: SGM (Ret) Allen Ashton)