Inside Rensselaer
* ROTC Students: Preparation for Service to Their Country
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Pictured are several ROTC officers representing the Army, Navy/Marine Corps, and the Air Force branches. From left to right: John Hartzell (Navy), Joseph Lee (Army), Lauren Vander Wiede (Marine Corps), Aileen Lennon (Navy), and Thomas Hanover (Air Force).
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ROTC Students: Preparation for Service to Their Country
In addition to taking on the task of a rigorous academic schedule, a select group of students at Rensselaer have also undertaken the rigorous preparation to serve their country. They are among the 39 Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) men and women who will receive their diplomas during Rensselaer’s 203rd Commencement. The students will be graduating from Rensselaer’s ROTC programs and starting active military service as officers with the Army, Navy/ Marine Corps, and the Air Force.

“Accepting a commission as a military officer is an act of unselfish giving to our country. These students exemplify loyalty, patriotism, and honor,” said President Shirley Ann Jackson.

Rensselaer’s ROTC programs are elective programs for students who desire commissions in the armed forces. The objective is to develop professional officers who have varied educational backgrounds in major fields of interest and have the professional knowledge and standards needed for future growth. Although the aim in each service is the same, the individual programs differ because of varying responsibilities assigned newly commissioned officers in the three services and differing plans for continuing education.

“Accepting a commission as a military officer is an act of unselfish giving to our country. These students exemplify loyalty, patriotism, and honor,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “It is with great pride that we are recognizing these officers as they are commissioned in service to our country. These extraordinary men and women join the long and distinguished list of civil and military leaders who have graduated from Rensselaer.” 

Commissioning signifies the beginning of a student’s active military service. Each student takes an oath of office in his or her respective branch of service in one of three commissioning ceremonies held in the Capital Region. The ceremonies honor students who have completed the appropriate ROTC programs while concurrently meeting the requirements for a baccalaureate degree at Rensselaer.

In the Army, 19 graduates have been assigned as active duty and National Guard officers in military police, military intelligence, infantry, medical specialty, signal corps, transportation, field artillery, adjutant general, ordnance, and engineer branches. Twelve Naval graduates will work in aviation, surface ship, submarine, nursing, and Marine Corps assignments. And in the Air Force, eight graduates will become civil engineers, pilots, combat systems, space and missiles, maintenance, and development engineering officers.

Earlier in this month, on May 2, the 59th annual Joint Services Awards Ceremony — held on the Rensselaer campus since 1950 — recognized the individual achievements of more than 100 ROTC cadets and midshipmen. Beyond serving in their respective branches, each ROTC student completed up to five hours of community service per semester, to benefit the city of Troy and the surrounding communities. Projects included working on the U.S.S. Slater located in Albany on the Hudson River; volunteering at area food banks; cleaning up local parks; and assisting Rensselaer’s athletic department by acting as ball boy/girls and announcers, to name a few.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 3, Number 5, May 15, 2009
©2009 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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