ROTC Programs Plan Virtual Commissionings

May 8, 2020
virtual commissionings

Each year, SDSU’s three ROTC programs hold commissioning ceremonies for their cadets. These ceremonies mark a cadet’s successful completion of their ROTC program and their entrance into military service. While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible to hold these celebrations in person, each program will hold a virtual ceremony to honor its cadets. 

Army - Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.

This year, SDSU’s Army ROTC program will commission 26 cadets -- 14 Active Duty U.S. Army, 11 U.S. Army National Guard, and one U.S. Army Reserves-- in front of a Zoom audience of the cadet’s friends and family members.

The ceremony will open with the National Anthem and an invocation given by a commissioning cadet's father, who is currently serving as an Active Duty Chaplain in Germany. The ceremony will also feature a speech from Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier Jr., a 1988 alumnus of the SDSU ROTC program and current Commanding General, U.S. Army Africa. Finally, each commissioning cadet will be highlighted: they will have their Second Lieutenant ranks pinned on their uniform and will receive their first salute as an officer from an enlisted service member of their choice. 

The top 3 highest performing cadets will be presented with an Army Officer Saber. 

“Commissioning as an officer in the U.S. Army is a pivotal point in a soldier’s career,” said Captain Benjamin Serrano, assistant professor of military science at SDSU. 

Navy - Friday, May 22, 2020, at 10 a.m.

NROTC San Diego will commission 23 new Ensigns and 16 new 2nd Lieutenants into the Navy and Marine Corps later this month, with 3 of the Navy and 6 of the Marine officers being SDSU students. The ceremony honors the 4 to 5 years that cadets have committed to academic excellence and military training. 

SDSU’s ceremony will be streamed live on YouTube so that friends and family members can witness this important milestone in these new officers’ lives. 

NROTC San Diego commissions more Naval and Marine Corps officers than any other NROTC program in the country and 10% of all NROTC Marine Corps officers.  

Air Force - Early June 2020

This summer, the Air Force ROTC program will be commissioning 26 cadets. This group of future officers demonstrates the diversity in career-fields offered within the Air Force. Once commissioned, ten will become future Pilots, four Intelligence Officers, three Engineers, two Acquisition Officers, two Remote Piloted Aircraft Officers, one Public Affairs Officer, one Combat Systems Officer, one Aircraft Maintainer and one Cyberspace Operations Officer. The cadets will be commissioning via Zoom at the beginning of June with cadre and family members present to join in on the celebration.  

The virtual commissioning procedures will include each cadet taking the Oath of Office and signing all of the required documents. The Detachment will have an intimate virtual commissioning with friends and family able to participate, with the hopes of organizing a more inclusive, in-person celebration once the current social distancing restrictions are lifted. 

“The commissioning ceremony is the culmination of the cadet's AFROTC career, and signifies the transition from college student to a professional Airmen in the United States Air Force,” said Col. John Grimm, Commander of AFROTC Detachment 075. “ It is a way to recognize the rigorous military, academic and athletic challenges the cadets go through with the ultimate goal of being the next generation of Air Force Officers.  It is a way to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work and encourage them on the new journey they are about to embark on.”

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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