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TRADOC commander commissions new lieutenants

By Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland | 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs | May 16, 2017


College graduations are typically events where friends and family gather to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduate over the past several years. For eight ROTC cadets from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, their graduation held more significance, as they also commissioned into the U.S. Army.

U.S. Army Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, was the guest speaker for the event, giving the soon-to-be second lieutenants advice on how to be effective leaders.

Your subordinates don’t really care what your grade point average is, what your bank account looks like or what family you came from,” said Perkins. “Your subordinates are going to grade you by what you do.”

The cadets pledged the Oath of Office, required by U.S. Code prior to receiving their commission. Following the oath, family members were invited on stage to pin the new rank onto the newly appointed U.S. Army second lieutenants.

During the ceremony, Lt. Col. James Kimbrough, College of William & Mary military science professor, spoke of the traditions and history of military support at the college, dating back more than 300 years, to include faculty, staff, students and alumni who have served in the nation’s military forces. He expressed his confidence in the new officers and their ability to continue that tradition of leadership.

“Through the years, College of William & Mary has a legacy of graduates becoming military leaders,” said Kimbrough. “Having spent the last couple of years working very closely with these cadets, I am confident they are ready to lead Soldiers--those American sons and daughters--against future challenges.”

In honor of the continued tradition, the newly commissioned lieutenants, and per tradition they presented a silver coin to an enlisted member, rendering their first salute.

With the ceremony complete, the new lieutenants were officially among the newest members of the U.S. Army Officer Corps.

“It’s an honor to be here and share this very special day, not only for these commissioned lieutenants, but quite honestly for the Army and for this great institution,” said Perkins. “The way we’ve built this Army for 242 years, and the way that it is now the envy of every Army in the world, is we build it sergeant by sergeant, private by private, and lieutenant by lieutenant. We don’t go out and buy an army, we build an army.”

With their ROTC days now behind them, the new lieutenants will face different challenges as they join various units across the Army, but will all soon have the distinct honor of leading their fellow Soldiers and continuing the traditions built before them.

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