Eleven senior cadets in the MTSU military science ROTC program were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during a traditional ceremony Friday, May 10, inside the Tom H. Jackson Building.
Alumnus and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Terry Ethridge delivered the commissioning address before a packed house inside Cantrell Hall, telling the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets of the Blue Raider Battalion that “35 years ago, I was sitting where you’re sitting.”
Ethridge, a Murfreesboro resident, has served as director of the Joint Staff for the Tennessee National Guard since 2011. He reports directly to the adjutant general for joint force matters and assists in external affairs functions, including presenting and enforcing National Guard policies, plans and programs.
“Today you will embark on a new journey of your own,” he said. “You have chosen the most honored profession that any person can choose and that is service to your country.”
Since he was commissioned with field artillery from MTSU’s ROTC program in 1978, Ethridge has led a distinguished career and continually advanced in rank.
“Remember we are still a nation at war,” Ethridge told the cadets. “With a war still going, your commitment and your professionalism, and especially your leadership is more important that ever before.”
Before Friday’s ceremony, Lt. Joel Miller, MTSU professor of military science, expressed pride in the cadets persevering to make the transition from cadet to officer.
“The cadets present here today have worked hard over the past several years to complete not only the requirements for a baccalaureate degree from this university, but they have also completed all the requirements to earn a minor in military science and to be commissioned as second lieutenants in our great Army,” Miller said.
All are expected to graduate Saturday, May 11, during MTSU’s spring 2013 commencement.
Those commissioned as second lieutenants included:
- Jared Blanchett of Chapel Hill, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign language (French). He is the son of John and Janice Blanchett of Chapel Hill.
- Anita Booker of Clarksville, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. She is the daughter of Gwendolyn Stevens of Clarksville.
- Dalton Bowersox of Smyrna, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. Married to Chelsie Bowersox of Smyrna, he is the son of Dawn Bowersox of Smyrna and Robert Bowersox of Smyrna.
- Michael Graham, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.
- Chase Morris of Dyersburg, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition and food science. He is the son of James and Cynthia Morris of Dyersburg.
- Arthur Powers of Rockvale, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in plant and soil science. He is married to Danielle Powers of Rockvale and is the son of Joel and Jody Powers of Rockvale.
- Elliott Ralston of Murfreesboro, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He is the son of Laura Ralston of Murfreesboro and Marvin Ralston of Unionville, Tenn.
- Christopher Smith of Smyrna, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in professional studies. He is married to Emily Smith of Smyrna and is the son of Charlie and Ruby Smith of Nashville.
- Sadi Swaney of Woodlawn, Tenn., who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational communication. She is the daughter of Barton and Dorothy Brindle of Woodlawn.
— Randy Weiler and Jimmy Hart (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu or firstname.lastname@example.org)