Senator Michael Hastings, Lt. Col. Encourage 2024 ROTC Grads

Roaring Tigers Commissioned at Prestigious ROTC Ceremony
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Seth Hurd

July 3, 2024 Academics, Accolades

For students enrolled in Olivet’s Roaring Tigers ROTC program, the Army ROTC Commission Ceremony is the most significant moment of their higher education journey. This ceremony recognizes cadets as they are promoted to second lieutenants in the United States Army. This year’s ceremony featured speeches from notable military and civilian leaders who emphasized the values of leadership and service to encourage the new officers in their lives of service.

Assistant Professor of Military Science, Capt. Brock Trexler, welcomed attendees, acknowledging the dedication and hard work of the cadets. “Commissioning is the culmination of more than four years of diligent preparation, hard work, commitment, and selfless service. It marks a significant transition in the life of the commissionee,” Capt. Trexler stated, underscoring the importance of the day.

A key moment in the ceremony was the speech by Lieutenant Colonel Alex Bowen, who reflected on the unique challenges faced by the Class of 2024. He praised their ability to adapt and thrive under extraordinary circumstances. “This class was walking into the army, needed to learn how to lead people, but had to do it behind a mask, computer screen, and at social distance,” Lt. Col. Bowen remarked, highlighting the resilience and adaptability of the cadets.

State Senator Michael Hastings, a guest speaker and a veteran himself, delivered a powerful message about the essence of leadership within the military. “You can be a second lieutenant, but that’s just a title. It’s the weight of the responsibility that truly defines the title,” Senator Hastings advised, emphasizing that leadership is defined by actions and responsibilities rather than rank alone.

The Senator also shared insights from his military service, connecting them to the broader responsibilities awaiting the new officers. “Our soldiers, the men and women who we look up to for guidance, or who look up to us for guidance and leadership, depend on our sound judgment, our ability to listen, and our willingness to learn every step of the way,” he added, reinforcing the importance of continuous learning and ethical leadership.

The ceremony concluded with a benediction from retired Lieutenant Colonel John Cross, who invoked blessings for the new officers’ futures. “As they report to their initial training and first assignments, may they seek to follow you in all their ways, serving humbly and seeking the welfare of their subordinates as they perform their duties and accomplish the missions set before them,” Lt. Col. Cross prayed, wishing the new lieutenants success and integrity in their careers.

Olivet Nazarene University’s ROTC Commission Ceremony was a testament to the rigorous training and leadership development that the university instills in its cadets. It was a day of recognition for the hard-earned achievements of the new officers and a reaffirmation of the university’s commitment to developing principled military leaders.

To watch video of the full ceremony, click here.

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Seth Hurd

Seth Hurd (’06, ’08 MOL, ’12 M. Hist) is the founder of Manx Solutions. He lives in St. Louis, MO with his wife Amanda, and daughters Ava and Emery.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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