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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets at Oregon State University had their annual joint review ceremony on Friday, and U-S Representative Peter DeFazio spoke at the event to honor them.

“It’s a 95-year tradition,” said Cadet William Anderson, the Cadet Battalion Commander for the Army Unit. “Cadets have been on this campus for 142 years. And 95 years ago, they started this tradition as a way of displaying what cadets were on campus and their strength.”

Representative Peter DeFazio, (D) – Oregon, says the event serves as an important time to honor and to celebrate the next generation of officers in the military.

“The joint review was considered 100 years ago a way of determining essentially the readiness of the troops,” DeFazio said. “Obviously it’s a totally different world now. There are whole new skill sets – extraordinary skill sets – that are required of our military. So it has deep meaning and historic roots. And it’s a way of honoring tradition. The military has a lot of great traditions. And for me to speak was a way to honor the cadets.”

Cadets say the annual event allows them to showcase who they are.

“This is my fourth year,” Anderson said. “And every year I just look forward to it as a way of showing off to the campus and showing who we are and what we come to do. I’m graduating this year, and I’m in charge of the entire event. I’m the commander of troops and so it’s a big event for me. This is probably my biggest event of all of college.”

DeFazio expressed his appreciation for the cadets in his speech.

“I want to thank all the cadets for having volunteered to serve in the military,” he said. “And I want to thank their family and friends for supporting that decision.”

In his speech, DeFazio mentioned how he did not vote to support the war in Iraq. However, he continues to voice his support for those who serve the country.

“It’s the public policy makers who are responsible for these mistakes, and those are the ones who should be held accountable,” DeFazio said. “The military should always be honored for its sacrifice.”

He says the ceremony is a way to respect the men and women who volunteer to be part of the military.

“When I was commissioned into the military it was a very different time,” he said. “The country was bitterly divided over Vietnam. Now we have an all-volunteer military; I appreciate that fact. We want to encourage and pay due respect to men and women who volunteer to put their lives on the line for the future of our country.”

Part of Friday’s ceremony included a joint review ceremony, when the formation passed in front of a stage in front this year’s reviewing officer, Oregon’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Daniel Hokanson.

“Thank you again for your service,” DeFazio said at the end of his speech. “Congratulations.”