6 October 2005
Gamecock Battalion Starts New Tradition
|ROTC's school spirit rings loud and
By Randy Wilson
JSU News Bureau
Should an opposing football team begin to feel railroaded at
Paul Snow Stadium, at least they will have been warned first.
Jacksonville State University's ROTC Gamecock Battalion began a new tradition during the recent JSU vs. Eastern Kentucky
A cadre of students from the battalion began ringing a locomotive bell as JSU's players marched onto the field at the
beginning of the game and after every touchdown scored by JSU.
"The ROTC cadets wanted their own icon to represent the Department of Military Science," said Lt. Col. Henry "Chip"
Hester, commander of the Gamecock Battalion. "The cadets also wanted to make a meaningful contribution to foster
spirit at football games."
According to Hester, the cadets believe ringing the historic bell does both. The cadets worked diligently with the
athletics department to integrate the bell as a part of the end zone celebrations during the game.
The bell is from a vintage locomotive. These bells were on early wood-burning engines, steam locomotives, and
diesel locomotives. They are made of brass or bronze. The Federal Railroad Administration implemented these types
of bells as a way to warn anyone near the tracks of an approaching train.
Lt. Gen. Ned Almond donated the bell to the department in 1979, shortly before he moved to San Antonio, Tex.
Almond received the bell from Harry A. DeButts, president of Southern Railway System, in 1955. It was a house-warming
gift for his home in Sunset Lodge, in Jacksonville, shortly after retiring from active military service.
Almond was the commander of the 10th U.S. Corps under General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. Almond served
under General MacArthur during World War II.
"We hope everyone will enjoy this bell at home football games and around campus," said Hester. "When they see it,
perhaps they will think of JSU's Army ROTC cadets and the commitment they have made to our country."
For more information about the bell or the Gamecock Battalion, call Hester at (256)782-5601 or send email to
for news releases by using the request form at www.jsu.edu/newswire/request.