Last weekend we continued our class ring time-honored tradition that began in 2016. As you might know, the class ring tradition is prevalent across America in both high schools and universities. What you may not know is that it grew out of a military tradition, one that started at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1935. The rings that we don on this day represent now what they did back then – accomplishment and potential. The rings symbolize the personal and professional growth of each cadet and graduate who wears one. They are a visible symbol that ties all of us together, and serve as a lasting reminder of our Battalion Motto – Strive for Excellence.
Symbology of the ring:
The top of the Ring bears the name of each cadet’s university.
One side of the Ring is adorned with the cadet’s class year and their university’s crest or logo
On the other side of the Ring is emblazoned with “ROTC” and the Bear Battalion crest. Central to the crest is a torch, a symbol of knowledge, truth, and intensity. Over the torch is a bear paw, symbolizing strength, and ferocity in the protection of one’s kindred.
The Bear Battalion Ring is not a piece of jewelry destined to sit in a box. It’s meant to be worn with pride. Seniors will wear their rings with their university crest towards their heart until commissioning to symbolize that there is still much work ahead, and that their journey here is not yet complete. Upon commissioning, we will turn our rings around and wear them with the Bear Battalion crest towards our hearts, to remind us of our connection to one another, and to the battalion and its alumni.
Furthermore, possessing and wearing a Bear Battalion Ring carries great significance as it is the symbol of the perpetual bond between Bear Battalion graduates.
If you would like to make that connection with the Bear Battalion and other future Commissioning Officers, come see Phillip Roberson in the basement of the Freudenberger House, or call 417-836-5793.
If you would like to donate to the “Legacy of Leadership” to ensure future graduates get to continue in this time-honored tradition, please visit our Crowdfunding page at https://www.givecampus.com/9lvp54