Army ROTC cadets to celebrate commissioning

CATEGORIES: News, Notable
Army ROTC cadets receiving their commissions last May at Iowa State University.

Did you know 59% of the Army officer corps is commissioned through ROTC programs? The remainder are commissioned through West Point or Officer Candidate School or are directly commissioned.

This December, three Iowa State graduating seniors will join the officer corps during the commissioning ceremony to begin their professions as officers in the United States Army. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 17 in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union at 5:00 p.m.

Benjamin G. Brixius

  • Component:  Active Duty
  • Branch:  Transportation Corps
  • Hometown:  Manitowoc, WI
  • Degree:  Bachelor of Science; Kinesiology and Health
  • Distinguished Military Student
  • First Duty Station:  Ft. Lee, VA

  Anna E. Hopkins

  • Component:  Active Duty
  • Branch:  Transportation Corps
  • Hometown:  Clarinda, IA
  • Degree:  Bachelor of Science; Biology
  • First Duty Station:  Ft. Lee, VA

 Daniel D. Saladin

  • Component:  Active Duty
  • Branch:  Infantry
  • Hometown:  Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Degree:  Bachelor of Science; Biology
  • First Duty Station:  Ft. Benning, GA

“The commissioning ceremony is a time honored tradition that signifies a new officer joining the profession of arms,” Lieutenant Colonel Ethan Dial said, professor of military science. “This ceremony is the visible transformation from cadet to officer.  A commissioned officer must administer the Oath of Office to the new lieutenants and swear them to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.  As such, each newly commissioned officer becomes an agent of the executive branch of the government, appointed by the President.  The pinning of the second lieutenant rank is a visible sign of this appointment and of the commitment made by each of these officers."

The “pinning” is a special moment for the new officers.

“Each second lieutenant’s family comes forward to ‘pin on’ the new rank to their dress uniform,” he said. “After that, the new officer marches under a sabre arch and conducts a silver dollar salute, which is an honored tradition where the new officer proudly hands a shiny silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier who salutes him or her.”

“One neat requirement is the Secretary of Defense must sign an officer nomination scroll for appointment and be approved by Congress,” LTC Dial added. “The commission of an officer in the military is an authority only granted by the President of the United States.”

December’s guest speaker for the Army ROTC commissioning ceremony is Brigadier General Jonathan McColumn, Commanding General of the 103rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command in Des Moines.

Cadets "qualify" for a commission by earning a degree from Iowa State, being medically cleared by the Department of Defense and completing all of the military science curriculum and camp attendance requirements. They must also be U.S. citizens, earn a secret security clearance, be within age requirements and pass the Army Physical Fitness test and drug screenings.

Following commissioning and graduation, the new officers will move to the Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) for their specific branch of service. Army ROTC commissions officers into all three components of the total Army, active duty, National Guard and the Reserves.