A smaller crowd gathered to watch five MBU ROTC cadets commissioned into the United States Army as 2nd Lieutenant.
ROTC Cadets Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants
- Bryan Crane, Infantry, Active Army
- Jared Eitel, Infantry, Army National Guard
- Cody Gorski, Medical Services, Army National Guard
- Jeffrey Rupp, Engineer, Army, Reserves
- Sean Sutton, Ordnance, Active Army
Capt. Jon DeGreef, of the US Army, opened the ceremony by welcoming the friends and family to the commissioning ceremony at MBU in part of the Madison Badger Battalion. He then invited Dr. Marty Marriott to give the invocation.
Lt. Col. Katie Blue, Professor of Military Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, gave the opening comments. She thanked the university for allowing her to participate and for hosting the ROTC program in the university.
After Lt. Col. Blue finished her opening remarks, Capt. DeGreef called Lt. Col. Derrek Schultheiss to conduct the Oath of Office. However, Bryan Crane’s oath of office was conducted by his father Col. (retired) Kenneth Crane.
The Oath of Office
Each cadet echoed the following oath:
I do solemnly swear
that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States,
that I make this obligation freely,
without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion,
and that I will well and faithfully
discharge the duties of the office
upon which I am about to enter,
so help me God.
Capt. Goodpasture, of the Illinois Army National Guard, conducted an additional oath for the new 2nd Lts. Jared Eitel and Cody Gorski, as they will serve in a battalion in Illinois.
Following the Army National Guard Oath for Illinois, the family and friends came to pin on the rank of the newly appointed officers. Proud parents, spouses, siblings, and grandparents walked to the front and pinned on the shoulder boards, pausing for hugs and pictures.
In addition, Lt. Col. Schultheiss awarded the certificates of commission.
While the certificates were awarded, Capt. DeGreef read a letter written by the president, which stated, “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.”
Each newly sworn-in lieutenant gave a small speech, giving thanks to their family and friends. But each gave special thanks to their God who provided them with the strengths and abilities for their achievements thus far.
“I didn’t get here alone,” 2nd Lt. Jeff Rupp said. Rupp earlier in the day graduated as the 5,000th graduate from MBU (you can read more of his story here).
“Thank you for all the time you’ve put into me…I’ve taken a piece of the best from all of you,” 2nd Lt. Sean Sutton said.
History of the First Salute
When the newly commissioned lieutenants finished their speeches, Master Sgt. Scott Patterson gave the history of the first salute.
“The tradition of a newly appointed officer giving a silver dollar to the first enlisted person to salute them after they have received their commissions came from the British regiments stationed in Colonial America,” Master Sgt. Patterson began. The tradition grew, and Congress authorized on April 2, 1792, the giving of a silver dollar in exchange for the first salute.
“To every new officer, it [the silver dollar] has special significance,” he continued. “It represents the symbolic receipt of respect due a newly earned rank and position…It is acknowledgment from one professional to another saying, ‘Welcome to our service and to the profession of arms.'”
The new second lieutenants then received their first salutes.
Second Lt. Bryan Crane received his first salute from Sgt. First Class Raymond Terrell; 2nd Lt. Jared Eitel received his first salute from Master Sgt. Scott Patterson; 2nd Lt. Cody Gorski received his first salute from his father-in-law, Staff Sgt. Kevin Peterson; 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Rupp received his first salute from Master Sgt. (Retired) Howard Spalding; and 2nd Lt. Sean Sutton received his first salute from his grandfather Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Sutton.
After the first salutes, Lt. Col. Schultheiss gave his closing remarks. He reminisced about each new 2nd Lt., having been with them for the entirety of their training. Lt. Col. Schultheiss also had a special word about each of them, their past successes, and the confidence he had in them for success in their future employment. He also spoke highly of the accomplishments of others who had come through the program.
Dr. Marriott returned and concluded the service with the benediction.