ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Dauntless Battalion 2nd Lt. Joel Murphy stands at attention while his parents, Charles and Rebecca, pin his new second lieutenant rank to his uniform.

Twenty one cadets from the Dauntless Battalion were commissioned as officers in the U.S. Army during a ceremony at Veterans Memorial outside Old Main.

The commissioning ceremony, conducted Wednesday, May 15 during the week of commencement, marked the pinnacle of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or ROTC, experience for the seniors. The new officers were commissioned as second lieutenants and through their commitment will dedicate at least the next four years of their careers to serving their country in the U.S. Army.

“We live in uncertain times, and as leaders we must be ready when called,” said Col. Trevor J. Bredenkamp, guest speaker for the ceremony.

Bradenkamp, who serves as program chief for legislative affairs at the Pentagon, provided a list of

ROTC Commissioning speaker 2019
Col. Trevor J. Bredenkamp served as event speaker at the 2019 Commissioning ceremony.

advice for the new officers on how to succeed as leaders in military life. He advised they set the example for morale and discipline, treat all soldiers with respect, be unafraid to make mistakes, embrace each challenge and live the oath.

I challenge you to live up to the oath each and every day. It is what our nation demands and what our soldiers deserve. —Col. Trevor J. Bredenkamp

Bradenkamp also recognized Widener President Julie E. Wollman for the university’s unwavering support of the ROTC program.

“Thank you for your leadership, and commitment to excellence in education,” he said.

In addition to Widener, the new officers in the Dauntless Battalion 2019 class hailed from Villanova, West Chester and Neumann Universities as well as Penn State Abington. The seven cadets from Widener, and their U.S. Army branch assignment, included:

  • Peter Berlet, Signal Corps
  • Robert Dietrich, Corps of Engineers
  • Eric Guzy, Military Intelligence
  • Payden Howard, Corps of Engineers
  • Timothy Kinnard, Ordnance
  • Joel Murphy, Armor
  • Justin O’Brien, Corps of Engineers

In addition to taking the oath of office at the ceremony, the new officers each had family members pin on the rank of second lieutenant to the shoulders of their uniforms, denoting their new ranks. Parents, siblings, other relatives and friends were called forward to do this individually before the standing-room-only crowd.

At the conclusion of the event, 2nd Lt. Joseph Cusick, who attended West Chester University, was presented with the Saber Award, recognizing his leadership in the class. He then stood before his fellow new officers and all the guests in attendance for the ceremonial sheathing of the saber, signaling the end of the school year.

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