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Two Tuskegee University Naval ROTC midshipmen received their commissions as ensigns during the Winter 2019 Joint ROTC Commissioning Ceremony held Friday, Dec. 13 in Tompkins Hall.
During the ceremony, new ensigns Joanna Santos and Anthony Simonte took their oath of office, sealing their admittance into the Officer Corps of the U.S. military. In addition, they also had their new ranks presented and pinned by friends and family members. Following the commissioning, they will now move on to their respective assignments as sailors in the U.S. Navy.
Santos, who majored in mathematics, has been selected to become a surface warfare officer engineering duty option. She will serve on board the USS Paul Ignatius in Mayport, Florida.
Simonte, who majored in aerospace engineering, has been assigned to special operations, where his follow-on duty station is the Salvage Training Center in Panama City, Florida. While there, Simonte will be training to become an explosive ordnance disposal officer.
Gunnery Sgt. Bryan Torres, an assistant Marine officer instructor, said the main goal of Tuskegee’s NROTC program is to produce well-rounded commissioned officers who understand the basics.
“We continue to harden our cadets’ military foundation so the Navy and Marine Corps can have something strong to build on. No matter where our graduates are assigned or what their job entails, one thing will never change: they are a sailor or marine in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps — and that will always come first,” Torres said.
Rear Adm. Daniel Fillion, a 1984 graduate of the College of Charleston and current director of integrated warfare (OPNAV N9I), was the ceremony’s guest speaker. Fillion’s afloat assignments include service aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as navigator and the USS Wasp (LHD 1) as executive officer and commanding officer. In addition to his service, Fillion’s list of awards includes the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four awards) and various campaign and unit awards.
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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