Article contributed by David Madsen, MBU associate professor of English
Family, friends and faculty gathered to watch the commissioning of four Maranatha ROTC cadets into the Unites States Army as second lieutenants.
ROTC Cadets commissioned as second lieutenants:
- Elijah Kazarovich, Military Intelligence, Army National Guard
- Elisha Lewis, Infantry, Active Duty Army
- Patrick Tanglao, Quartermaster, Active Duty Army
- Matthew Wetzel, Engineer, Army National Guard
The commissioning ceremony began with the posting of the American and Wisconsin flags by the Color Guard.
Sgt. Jon DeGreeff then welcomed those in attendance on behalf of the Madison Badger Battalion before inviting Dr. Marty Marriott to give the invocation.
Following Dr. Marriott’s prayer, Sgt. DeGreeff recognized Lt. Col. Katie Blue, who expressed her appreciation of the cadets during the three years she and Sgt. DeGreeff had worked with them. Lt. Col. Blue noted that she had worked with these MBU cadets longer than any other cadets, and they had grown to be her favorite MS4s. She quoted Jer. 29:11 and Job 23:10 in wishing them a bright future. Lt. Col. Blue then administered the Oath of Office to the four cadets.
In addition to the Oath, a separate National Guard Oath of Office was administered to Elijah Kazarovich.
After the conducting of the oaths, family members came forward to pin the newly-commissioned officers 2LT Elijah Kazarovich, 2LT Elisha Lewis, 2LT Patrick Tanglao, and 2LT Matthew Wetzel with their new rank.
After the pinning, Capt. DeGreeff explained the history of the first-salute custom. This tradition, where a newly-commissioned officer gives a silver dollar coin to the first enlisted soldier to salute him, originated from British military custom in the Colonial Era. The first salutes during the ceremony were as follows: 2LT Elijah Kazarovich received his first salute from MSG Scott Patterson, 2LT Elisha Lewis received his first salute from Sgt. James Simon, 2LT Patrick Tanglao received his first salute from MSG Scott Patterson, and 2LT Mathew Wetzel received his first salute from SFC Richard Wetzel (retired).
Following the first salutes, the following proclamation— signed by President Donald Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—was read. In part, it read as follows:
“Know ye that, reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, fidelity and abilities of Elijah Kazarovich, Elisha Lewis, Patrick Tanglao, and Matthew Wetzel, I do appoint them a second lieutenant in the Army to rank as such from the 4th day of May, 2018. These officers will therefore carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the office to which appointed by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging.”
Next, Lt. Col. Blue, assisted by MSG. Patterson, awarded each of the new officers with certificates of commission. After the giving of certificates, Kazarovich, Lewis, Tanglao, and Wetzel each took time to thank God, their families, friends, cadre, and Capt. DeGreeff and Lt. Col. Blue for the support they had received during their time as cadets.
In his closing comments, Capt. DeGreeff described the new officers as significant members of the ROTC team at MBU. He noted that the group was the first he had presided over single-handedly and recalled warm memories about each of the four men. His final admonition to the officers was as follows:
“Officers always double knot their shoes. Officers should never stop at the first ‘no.’ Continue to troubleshoot. Officers make decisions. So, do that. It is your duty to be the buffer and to fight for your soldiers. Build a team that will be your legacy. And, as always, remember to look good, run fast, delegate, and spot check.”
The benediction was given by Dr. Tracy Foster, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to congratulate the new officers.
View more photos in the MBU photo gallery.