MTSU alumnus and retired U.S. Army Col. Jeff Davidson shared what he called “the three C’s: character, competence and commitment” with the MTSU military science ROTC cadets Monday, Dec. 18, during the Blue Raider Battalion fall commissioning ceremony in the Keathley University Center Theater.
With family and friends in attendance, the five were commissioned as second lieutenants in the 30-minute formal ceremony that is a tradition for the program.
The cadets, who graduated Saturday, Dec. 16, include:
- Joseph “Joe” Bell of Morristown, Tennessee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. His status will be active duty with the medical service corps branch.
- Richard Boland of Murfreesboro, who earned a Master of Science in Professional Science while majoring in geosciences. He will be on active duty with the chemical corps branch.
- Randell Luangrath of Des Moines, Iowa, who received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He will be on reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s cyber branch.
- Paul Seaton of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, who earned a B.B.A. in entrepreneurship. He will be on active duty with the military intelligence branch.
- Parker Vegas of Cut Off, Louisiana, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He will be on reserve forces duty with the Tennessee Army National Guard’s military police branch.
Boland told Davidson, who also is deputy mayor for Rutherford County, after the ceremony that he “will always remember the three Cs.”
“Character is something you have to work at,” said Davidson, a member of the Class of 1985. “It is not something you can simply pull out of a locker, a duffle bag or a rucksack. Character is a verb, demonstrated on a daily basis in what you do, how you do it and why you do it. … Character can be lost in a matter of minutes or even seconds.”
Davidson said competence is “the demonstrated ability to perform your duty or duties to standard.” When they attend Basic Officer Leadership Course, which the colonel called “one of the most important courses, if not the most important, you will attend in your Army career,” the soldiers will learn fundamental tools and skills they will carry for the rest of their service, including mastering guns, grenade launchers, tanks and other vehicles.
“Commitment is wisely using precious resources entrusted to us, ensuring our Army is well led and well prepared while caring for soldiers,” Davidson added.
MTSU has more than 240 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)