ROTC Prepares Students for Service to Their Country
Twenty-nine Rensselaer students will be graduating from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs and starting active military service as officers with the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. Commissioning signifies the beginning of a student’s active military service. Each student will take an oath of office in his or her respective branch of service in one of three commissioning ceremonies taking place on May 25 on the Rensselaer campus in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Theater and Academy Hall
From Naval ROTC, 11 students will be commissioned as ensigns and three as second lieutenants into active duty in the United States Navy or Marine Corps. Future career paths for those commissioned include: two surface warfare officers (one will be nuclear-trained), six submarine officers, three aviation officers, and three Marine Corps officers. The commissioning ceremony will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. in the EMPAC Theater May 25.
In the Air Force, 10 graduates will become aircraft pilots, civil engineers, a nurse, an aircraft maintenance officer, an air liaison officer, a cyberspace operations officer, and an operations research analyst. The commissioning ceremony will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on May 25 in the EMPAC Theater. Samuel F. Heffner Jr. ’56, who launched a career in the real estate development business that has spanned nearly 50 years, will deliver the keynote address.
Heffner is the founder and president of Dickinson-Heffner Inc., a building and land development firm that has developed several million square feet of office and industrial space in the Baltimore region, primarily in the vicinity of Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport. He has served on numerous civic boards and is a founder and former chair of the BWI Business Partnership Inc., devoted to the fostering of economic development and transportation interests by businesses in the BWI area. Heffner was a member of the Rensselaer Board of Trustees for 33 years and served as board chair for 15 years, retiring in December 2010.
In the Army, the Mohawk Battalion operates as the Army’s only commissioning source for colleges and universities throughout the Capital Region. This year, eight of the 23 graduates that will be commissioned as second lieutenants are from Rensselaer. Of the 23 total commissionees, 11 will go into active duty, nine will go into the National Guard, and three will go into the Reserve. The commissioning ceremony for the Rensselaer students will take place from 10 a.m. to
11 a.m. in Academy Hall auditorium.
Brigadier General John McMahon, who assumed command of the Northwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will deliver the keynote address. In this position, he oversees an annual program of more than $4 billion in civil works, environmental restoration, and military construction in more than a dozen states, primarily within the Columbia and
Missouri river basins. McMahon orchestrates Corps of Engineers’ efforts with those of other federal, state and local agencies, the Army and Air Force, the Administration and the Congress to ensure that the Corps provides exceptional service to the Nation.