U.S. Army Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy praised his fifth group of graduating MTSU cadets “for their energy and passion for learning that has been unmatched.”
Keith M. Huber, guest speaker for the 2021 Blue Raider Battalion Spring Commissioning Ceremony, provided a message about “appreciation, preparation and dedication” in addressing the 11 seniors being commissioned as second lieutenants.
With family and friends attending the in-person ceremony Friday, May 7, in the Student Union Ballroom, the newest ROTC alumni were given a heartfelt sendoff as they begin their Army careers and next chapters in their young lives.
The commissioning ceremony is a tradition for the ROTC program, which has seen the student cadets prepare for service to their country.
McCarthy, an MTSU military science professor, said the seniors “impressed me with the bonds they have formed with each other and the dedication they have demonstrated with this program. … These cadets have been adaptable and resilient during a worldwide pandemic.”
Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives and retired lieutenant general, congratulated them for reaching this milestone and “having strength of character from their parents” and realizing hard work pays off.
“Welcome to your day of preparation,” Huber added. “Life is a classroom and every day is a perpetual quiz. … Take this time to prepare yourself. Focus on what bonds us together. The reality is we may never return home. Be physically and emotionally prepared.”
Maggie Potter, 22, of Maryville, Tennessee, said she’s “very excited for the opportunities coming up.” She will be a medical services officer in Anchorage, Alaska, with eventual plans to attend medical school. The biology major said she “had worked really hard for it (this moment) and this is the culmination of the hard work.”
In addition to Potter, others commissioned as second lieutenants included:
- Brian Acosta of Murfreesboro. He earned a master’s in criminal justice and will be active duty in the Aviation Branch.
- Alexis Allen of Lewisburg, Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s in computer science and will be active duty in the Armor Branch.
- Jordan Anderson of Morristown, Tennessee. He graduated with a bachelor’s in concrete management and will be active duty in the Engineer Branch.
- Kaleb Fanning of Manchester, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in biology and will be active duty in the Chemical Branch.
- Arne Fisher of Smyrna, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be in the Adjutant General Branch in the U.S. Army Reserve.
- Tierria Groves of Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated with a bachelor’s in foreign language and will be in Quartermaster Branch of the U.S. Army Reserve.
- Jordan Plumb of La Vergne. She earned a bachelor’s in psychology and will be active duty in the Quartermaster Branch.
- Joshua Smith of Leoma, Tennessee. He graduated with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be active duty in the Military Police Branch.
- Eric Vaughn of Franklin, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration (finance concentration) and will be active duty in the Field Artillery Branch.
- MicKayla Wilkinson of Riceville, Tennessee. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and will be active duty in the Chemical Branch.
Nine of the graduates will attend basic officer leadership courses at various locations. Anderson, Plumb, Potter, Smith and Vaughn will also attend Camp Cadre at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
—Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)