Eastern Michigan University’s Army ROTC program has been on campus since 1952, when male freshman students were required to join and remain in the program for the first two years of college. The requirement ended in 1968.
As a part of ROTC on EMU’s campus, there are extracurricular activities that include Scabbard and Blade, AUSA Company, a Counter-Insurgency Unit, Drill Team, and a Drum and Bugle Corps, according to EMU’s website. Current extracurricular activities that cadets can participate in are our Color Guard and Cannon Crew.
Pointing out the Cannon Crew is easy. Next time you’re at Rynearson Stadium sitting on the home side, look to the away team’s sideline and you’ll see men and women in army combat uniforms. When you do, you have spotted the Cannon Crew.
Cadets are hand selected and some volunteer to be a part of the crew at EMU’s home football games.
Members of the Cannon Crew fire the cannon during the initial kickoff at the beginning of each football game, during kickoff after halftime, and each time the Eagles score a touchdown.
Cadets also do the exact amount of push-ups the team scores after scoring a field goal or a touchdown.
“We’re very proud of our football team and whenever we score we want to make sure that the world knows and by that we fire the cannon that can be heard all over,” said Cadet Andre Gedera, who is the officer in command for the Cannon Crew.
In compliance with Ypsilanti’s noise ordinances and to respect residential neighborhoods near Rynearson Stadium, if the Eagles continue to put points on the scoreboard the cannon will not be fired after 10 p.m. However, the cannon crew will continue to do push ups.
For a chance to see the Cannon Crew in action, make your way to 'The Factory’ on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., where the Eagles will take on the University of Massachusetts to celebrate EMU’s 101st Homecoming.
"Our Homecoming theme is ‘Where It All Started!,’ reflecting Eastern’s dynamic role in shaping thousands of people's lives in our 173-year history,“ EMU President James Smith told The Eastern Echo. "Throughout the week we have a full range of events for everyone to enjoy culminating with a must-see football game when the Eagles take on UMass at Rynearson Stadium. I hope you will wear your green and white and proudly display the block E.”