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MTSU Military Science commissions 13 graduating se...

MTSU Military Science commissions 13 graduating seniors [+VIDEO]

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy administered the final four oaths of office to his graduating MTSU senior cadets Tuesday, May 12, bringing a nonclassroom lesson for them.

“It is the most important message you will ever receive during your time in ROTC,” McCarthy said. “We trust you. We trust you to win our nation’s wars, to be a leader of character and competence and consequence. We trust you to leave our profession better than you find it.”

Best friends Terrah Black, left, and Melanie Halmon pin Master of Science in Professional Science biostatistics major Juante J. Williams of Memphis, Tenn., during the ROTC commissioning ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall Friday, May 8. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Best friends Terrah Black, left, and Melanie Halmon pin Master of Science in Professional Science biostatistics major Juante J. Williams of Memphis, Tenn., during the ROTC commissioning ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall Friday, May 8. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy, Military Science faculty

Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy

McCarthy, the Military Science chair, shared it 13 times across three days in special on-campus, individual commissioning ceremonies in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. He also told them about the significance of the ceremony.

The commissioning ceremony is a tradition for the ROTC program, which has seen the student cadets prepare for service to their country.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee and Provost Mark Byrnes approved the ceremonies, emphasizing the need to stay within CDC guidelines on small groups and social distancing in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Military Science Department limited each of the 13 ceremonies to five people at each session and spread them out across four to five hours each of the three days to allow time for sanitizing in between. It is one of the first on-campus activities since mid-March when the university moved to online instruction to stem the spread of COVID-19.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy, right, takes a cell phone photo of newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Curtis Rookard Jr., of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Tuesday, May 12, during the MTSU ROTC commissioning ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. Rookard holds a photo of his father, Lt. Cmdr. Curtis Rookard Sr. Lily Hendrickson, left, Curtis Rookard Jr.’s girlfriend, and his mother, Marita Rookard, attended the ceremony. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy, right, takes a cell phone photo of newly commissioned 2nd Lt. Curtis Rookard Jr., of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Tuesday, May 12, during the MTSU ROTC commissioning ceremony in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall. Rookard holds a photo of his father, Lt. Cmdr. Curtis Rookard Sr. Lily Hendrickson, left, Curtis Rookard Jr.’s girlfriend, and his mother, Marita Rookard, attended the ceremony. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Those commissioned Friday, May 8, Monday, May 11, and Tuesday, May 12 as second lieutenants included:

• Benjamin Gober of Murfreesboro. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration and will be reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

• Jose D. Peraza Miejas of La Vergne, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in computer science and will be reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

• Juante J. Williams of Memphis, Tennessee. He earned a Master of Science in Professional Science biotechnology degree and will be reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

• Megan L. Anderson Miller of Morrison, Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be active duty with the military police branch.

• Brittney E. Bauer of Murfreesboro. She earned a bachelor’s in professional studies and will be active duty in the transportation branch.

• Kaitlin R. Rupe of Milton, Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s in aerospace (flight dispatch concentration) and will be active duty in the ordnance branch.

• Brandon A. Valentin of Orlando, Florida. He earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

• Nicholas B. King of Nolensville, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration and will be reserve forces duty with the U.S. Army Reserve.

• Sean O. Sullivan of La Vergne, Tennessee. He earned a bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be active duty in the ordnance branch.

• Curtis R. Rookard of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He earned his Master of Science in Professional Science biostatistics degree and will be reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard.

• Jonathan D. Nunley of Tracy City, Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s in business administration in entrepreneurship.

• Roland K. Stokes of Pleasant View, Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s in environmental technology and will be active duty in the ordnance branch.

• Russell A. Flade of Bell Buckle, Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s in criminal justice and will be active duty in the infantry branch.

2nd Lt. Kaitlin Rupe, center, of Milton, Tenn., is pinned by her father, Scott Wallace, left, and stepmother, Lisa Wallace, Monday, May 11, during the second of three days of ROTC commissioning ceremonies by the MTSU Department of Military Science. Rupe earned her degree in aerospace flight dispatch. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

2nd Lt. Kaitlin Rupe, center, of Milton, Tenn., is pinned by her father, Scott Wallace, left, and stepmother, Lisa Wallace, Monday, May 11, during the second of three days of ROTC commissioning ceremonies by the MTSU Department of Military Science. Rupe earned her degree in aerospace flight dispatch. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

In addition to the oath of office, the ceremonies included a welcome from McCarthy, invocation, national anthem, pinning of rank by parents, first salute and remarks from McCarthy and the newly commissioned officers.

A video message from various military leaders also was shown.

To learn more about the Military Science program, which is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments, call 615-898-2470 or visit https://www.mtsu.edu/arotc1/.

—Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)

Several rows of military pins were on display in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall Friday, May 8, as the first of 13 ROTC commissioning ceremonies began. Graduating senior cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Several rows of military pins were on display in the Tom H. Jackson Building’s Cantrell Hall Friday, May 8, as the first of 13 ROTC commissioning ceremonies began. Graduating senior cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)


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