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Fall ceremony commissions 7 into U.S. Army, Air Fo...

Fall ceremony commissions 7 into U.S. Army, Air Force (+VIDEOS)

On the eve of their graduation from Middle Tennessee State University, seven student-cadets were commissioned Dec. 13 as second lieutenants in two branches of the military.

The cadets, who graduated Dec. 14 during commencement ceremonies in Murphy Center, were recognized during the Blue Raider Battalion fall commissioning ceremony in the Keathley University Center Theater with family and friends in attendance.

Six were commissioned into the U.S. Army, and  the seventh cadet was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force.

You can watch the swearing-in ceremony below.

They newly commissioned officers include:

  • Elizabeth Dang of Columbia, Tenn., who will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the College of Liberal Arts. She was accessed reserve forces duty in the Field Artillery Branch with the Tennessee National Guard.
  • Kenneth Davie of Clarksville, Tenn., who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. He was accessed active duty in the Chemical Branch and will attend the Basic Officer Leader course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., beginning Feb. 23, 2014.
  • Jenine Fajardo of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. She was accessed active duty in the Army Nurse Branch and will attend the Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, when she successfully completes the National Council Licensure Examination for nurses.
  • William Kemp of Columbia, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. He was accessed active duty in the Ordnance Branch and will attend the Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, Va., beginning Jan. 26.
  • Hannah Pearson of Fort Bragg, N.C., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the School of Nursing in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. She was accessed active duty in the Army Nurse Branch and will attend the Basic Officer Leader Class at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, when she successfully completes the national nursing exam.
  • Patrick Simpson of Clarksville, Tenn., who is graduating with bachelor of business administration degree in business administration from the Jones College of Business. He was accessed reserve forces duty with the Adjutant General Branch of the Tennessee Army National Guard.
  • Mychal Weekes of Old Hickory, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. He was accessed active duty with the U.S. Air Force in the pilot select program and will be assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Weekes also was recognized as an ROTC Distinguished Graduate.

U.S. Army Col. Richard “Rich” Juergens of Fort Bragg spoke just before the swearing in and pinning of the new officers. Juergens also spoke Dec. 16, 2011, in an MTSU ceremony where his oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was commissioned.

Juergens and his wife, Diana, have raised eight daughters, including Hannah Pearson, one of the senior cadets commissioned during this fall’s ceremony. The colonel offered plenty of advice.

“Nothing is more important than your integrity,” Juergens said. “How you treat people is very important.

“You won’t believe the impact you’re going to have. Know what you can do and be the best you can be.”

— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Grandmother Paulette Baras, left, and mother Catherine Dang, right, rejoice with MTSU senior Elizabeth Dang of Columbia, Tenn., after pinning second lieutentant bars on Elizabeth Dec. 13 as part of the military science fall commissioning ceremony in Keathley University Center Theater. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Mychal Weekes, far left, Patrick Simpson, Hannah Pearson, William Kemp, Jenine Fajardo, Kenneth Davie and Elizabeth Dang stand at attention in MTSU’s Keathley University Center Theater during their commissioning ceremony as second lieutenants Dec. 13. Weekes was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, and his fellow students were commissioned into the U.S. Army.

MTSU student Mychal Weekes, second from left, hugs his father, Floyd Weekes, after giving both his dad and mother, Zina Berry, flowers Dec. 13 during the MTSU military science fall commissioning ceremony in Keathley University Center Theater. Mychal Weekes’ grandfather, Lucas Berry, also was part of the pinning ceremony.


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