Nineteen MTSU seniors awaiting graduation were commissioned as U.S. Army second lieutenants Friday, May 3, during a formal ceremony in the Veterans Memorial outside the Tom H. Jackson Building.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jimmie L. Cole Jr., land component commander for the Tennessee Army National Guard, spoke to the new commissionees, welcoming them into the next chapter of their military careers.
The ceremony is a tradition for the ROTC program, where the student cadets prepare for service to their country.
Those commissioned as second lieutenants include:
• Courteney Anderson, a criminal justice major from Jasper, Tennessee.
• Tyler Bailey, a mechatronics engineering major from Woodbury, Tennessee.
• Kristian Bellew, an aerospace major from Atoka, Tennessee.
• Terrah Black, a speech/language pathology major from Clarksville, Tennessee.
• Winston Bogle, a criminal justice major from Nolensville, Tennessee.
• Tyler Braun, an exercise science major from Shelbyville, Tennessee.
• Amber Cetinel, a journalism major from Murfreesboro.
• Hunter Coppinger, an aerospace major from McMinnville, Tennessee.
• Jacob Cunningham, a finance major from Franklin, Tennessee.
• Travis Drawdy, an aerospace major from Shelbyville.
• Jason Gurch, an engineering technology major from Murfreesboro.
• Antonio Hiles, a criminal justice major from Shelbyville.
• Chris Hilton, a criminal justice major from Nashville, Tennessee.
• Sydney Moskovitz, an accounting major from Murfreesboro.
• Matthew Murphy, an interdisciplinary studies major from Nashville.
• Tyler Newman, a geoscience major from Coldwater, Mississippi.
• Devin Pope, a political science major from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
• Aaron Smith, a management major from Smyrna, Georgia.
• Seth Whitehead, a journalism major from Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Cole’ said his message to the new second lieutenants would be to follow “basic leadership and to master the basics and to focus on their time as a platoon leader.”
“They need to make sure they incorporate and empower their noncommissioned officers that’ll be their counterparts, make sure they take care of their soldiers, take prudent risks and be accountable,” Cole added. “I want to thank them for their selfless service and their sacrifices they are making for our state and nation.”
Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy oversaw the ceremony as the leader of the Department of Military Science and introduced Cole.
“This is a phenomenal group that’s highly talented,” said McCarthy, who joined MTSU last August at the beginning of the academic year.
“This is the first group I’ve seen all the way through. It’s equal parts National Guard, Army Reserve and active duty. Each component of the Army is going to receive quality individuals.”
McCarthy said Gurch is the first active-duty commissionee from MTSU, to his knowledge, who will join the Army’s Cyber Command, “countering cyber threats from some of our adversaries.”
McCarthy added that the program is still thrilled about Cetinel’s recent receipt of the Women’s Army Corps’ Veterans Association Pallas Athene Award, presented each year to the top two female cadets in the U.S.
To learn more about MTSU’s Department of Military Science, call 615-898-2470.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)