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Tuskegee University will host its Winter 2018 Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 14. The ceremony will include 10 students receiving military commissions –– three from the Navy ROTC, two from the Air Force ROTC and five from the Army ROTC. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in Tompkins Hall Ballroom.
The graduating seniors will take their oath of office and have their new ranks pinned on by a mentor, spouse or loved one — symbolizing the beginning of their military careers. Later in the ceremony, the graduating cadets will receive their individual commissions and become a part of their respective military branches.
Lt. Scott Glidemeyer, assistant professor of naval science at Tuskegee, said the commissioning is the milestone toward which all ROTC students strive.
“Our ROTC students must balance academics, physical fitness, leadership and ethics,” Glidemeyer explained. “Once they complete ROTC program requirements, as well as their academic requirements, they are commissioned as military officers.”
As part of the ceremony, cadets will exchange their first salute, as well as a traditional silver dollar exchange — a tradition that dates back to the colonial period and is thought to have originated with British officers.
“Newly commissioned British officers were assigned an enlisted soldier to train, teach the regiment’s history and traditions to, and ensure they met appropriate standards,” Glidemeyer noted. “Grateful lieutenants often showed their heartfelt gratitude by informally compensating the enlisted man with gold or silver currency.”
Rear Adm. James Loeblein, chief of legislative affairs for the secretary of the Navy, will serve as the ceremony’s guest speaker. Loeblein, a native of Salisbury, North Carolina, is a 1985 U.S. Naval Academy graduate. He holds a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a master of arts in national security and strategic s from the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
At sea, he served aboard the USS Meyerkord (FF 1058), USS Conolly (DD 979) and USS John S. McCain (DDG 56). He commanded the USS Thach (FFG 43) and participated in two strike group deployments to the Arabian Gulf. He commanded Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 9, serving as sea combat commander for the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom.
All Army and Air Force ROTC cadets commission as second lieutenants, and Navy ROTC midshipmen commission as ensigns. Upon their commissioning, they move onto their first tours to lead troops, sailors and airmen around the world. The cadets being commissioned include:
Air Force ROTC
To learn more about Tuskegee University’s Air Force, Army or Navy ROTC programs, visit https://www.tuskegee.edu/discover-tu/extracurricular-activities.
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