Gov. Joan Finney presided Friday over the annual joint service review of Kansas University Reserve Officers Training Corps units.
After addressing the Army, Navy and Air Force cadets and midshipmen, Finney and Maj. Gen. F.X. Hamilton reviewed the units.
The ceremony began when a fighter jet flew over Memorial Stadium. Units marched across the stadium and stood in formation.
Hamilton, commander of a Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga., was a Marine instructor in KU's Navy ROTC unit in the 1970s.
Hamilton said soldiers survive under stress, not so much because of political ideology, but because of their strong commitment to leaders.
"More than anything else men have fought because of the commitment, not to some vague ideal, but a commitment to a leader," he said.
"You cadets and midshipmen face the awesome challenge of providing them with that leadership," he said.
He said the attributes of leaders are: professional competence, physical and mental toughness, strong character and inspirational qualities.
Finney said the important question in life is: What do you personally stand for?
She advised cadets and midshipmen to step out of their "comfort zone" and strive every day to make a difference in the world.
"What is your commitment to the most important person in your life? Yourself," Finney said.
"If you love and respect yourself, you will find that life takes on special meaning," she said.
Awards were presented to the members of each unit. Three people received the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.
Recipients of the order were: Cadet Leo Mahoney IV, Army ROTC; Brent Johnson, Navy ROTC; and Todd Brace, Air Force ROTC.
Capt. Shannon Butler, commander of KU's Navy unit, was host commander. Midshipman Jonathan Boldt commanded troops for the review.
The Army unit was commanded by Mahoney, the Navy unit by Midshipman Jeff Messerly and the Air Force unit by Cadet Joseph-Lewis Prue.
The guest of honor was David Ambler, vice chancellor for student affairs at KU. He is a graduate of an ROTC unit.