Monday, May 7th, 2012
As another school year draws to a close, graduating ROTC cadets across the nation are being commissioned as officers in the U.S. military. This past Thursday, Gen. (Ret.) Colin Powell administered the commissioning oath to 13 Northeastern University cadets who were made 2nd lieutenants in the Army:
“Serving is important. Remember why you’re getting this commission in a few moments: service to this nation, service to the greatest ideals of this nation and, above all, service to the troops who will be entrusted to your care,” Powell said at the Liberty Battalion Army ROTC commission ceremony, held in Raytheon Amphitheater and attended by more than 150 people.
Powell told the cadets that the skills and discipline each of them would acquire in basic Army training will “make you a contributing leader in this country for the rest of your lives.” He recalled being inspired to join the ROTC while at City College of New York after seeing cadets march down a street in Harlem, and that the 35 years, 3 months and 21 days he would later serve in the U.S. Army–ultimately rising to the rank of four-star general–all served as learning experiences that “made me who I am.”
Powell then administered the commissioning oath to the cadets and thanked Northeastern University President Joseph E. Aoun for his support of Liberty Battalion. [...] After the students took the oath, family members pinned gold bars on the shoulders of the new 2nd lieutenants. [...]
Lt. Col. Gary M. Soldato, who commands Liberty Battalion and is a professor of military science, lauded the newly minted officers’ hard work and dedication. “Not everybody can do what you are about to embark upon,” he said. “That’s why you must earn those gold bars, like you have today.”
Soldato also presented Powell with a gift–a Liberty Battalion ROTC coin.
Northeastern University began its relationship with the U.S. Army in 1918, with the start of the Student Army Training Corps in response to World War I. In January 1951, the university officially formed an ROTC detachment in support of the Army Corps of Engineers and Signal Corps, and the first commissioned class graduated in 1955.
Northeastern Army ROTC has commissioned more than 3,800 cadets in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve and the Army National Guard. At one point, it was one of the largest nonmilitary campus programs in the nation, with about 2,800 cadets enrolled.
Congratulations to all the newly-commissioned officers! For more on ROTC, check out Cheryl Miller’s report, “Underserved: A Case Study of ROTC in New York City.”