Four New Officers Commissioned at Boston College

BC Commissioning 2016By ENS Jasper Burns

Boston Consortium NROTC commissioned four Boston College graduates into the Navy and Marine Corps last Sunday, May 22nd. ENS Longest, ENS Rogers, ENS Spata, and 2nd LT Hamilton all commissioned in a joint ceremony with BC army cadets on the Bapst Lawn.

The Master of Ceremonies was Army Cadet Robert Chesler, who introduced the commissionees and introduced the Professor of Military Science, LtCol Timothy Ferguson. Following LtCol Ferguson’s remarks, were those by the Guest of Honor, Major General James F. Pasquarette, Commanding General of United States Army Japan, who had flown in from Japan the previous night for the sake of this commissioning.  He noted that being at the ceremony was not a burden, but an honor.

After his speech, each commissionee came up in turn to take their oath. 2nd Lt Connell of BC Army said some words as class speaker, and then all the new officers received their first salutes in front of BC’s Golden Eagle.

MIDN 1/C Reid noted that “One of the best parts about this ceremony was that it brought BC’s Army and Navy units together, which is something that doesn’t happen too often. As a result, there were many jokes regarding the age-old rivalry between the two branches, but the guest speakers also spoke about joint operations between the two and the importance of each branch by itself.”

ENS Longest and ENS Rogers will be reporting to Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton as Navy Nurses. ENS Spata is going to Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola as a Naval Flight Officer, and 2nd Lt Hamilton will be headed to The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia for training as a Marine Officer.

BU Commissions 9 New Officers Onboard USS Constitution

BU commissioning 2016Photo by Phyllis Norwood and Article by ENS Ashley Potts

On May 16, 2016 the nine 1/C Midshipmen of Boston University became commissioned officers in a ceremony onboard the Navy’s oldest commissioned warship still in active service, the USS Constitution. Eight are headed into the US Navy, while the other is headed to the US Marine Corps. 6 Midshipmen also volunteered to help with the ceremony as sideboys – MIDN 1/C Koch, MIDN 1/C Reid, MIDN 2/C Lopez, MIDN 2/C Ladine, MIDN 3/C Haley, and MIDN 3/C Kierstead.

Ensign Love, chosen by his class to be the class representative, gave the opening speech. In his speech, he talked about the bonds the 1/C-now Ensigns- shared, and how they were proud to be joining an organization as rich and full of tradition as the US Navy. ENS King stated that his speech was “incredibly motivational”.

RDML Danelle Barrett, Deputy Director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command and graduate of Boston University NROTC, was in attendance to read the 1/C their Oath of Office. In her keynote address, she made remarks about each of the seniors, encouraging each of them to make their mark.

ENS Sternstein said that “it was awesome having all of our families there to celebrate with us the culmination of 4 years of hard work, and our entrance into the naval service” while ENS Burns noted that “it was great for my non-military family to finally see me in uniform and experience a commissioning full of naval tradition and on the oldest commissioned ship in the Navy.” MIDN 1/c Reid, a sideboy at the ceremony, said of the ceremony itself that “seeing all the seniors that I have known for three years in ROTC commission and become Ensigns was humbling and inspiring and really made me excited for our class next year.”

2nd Lt Frayne-Reixa will be going to TBS in Quantico, Virginia. ENS Conkey, ENS Sternstein, ENS Love, ENS Guerra, and ENS Grissino will be heading to Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Florida to become Student Naval Aviators. ENS Burns and ENS Potts will also be heading to Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Florida as Naval Flight Officers.  ENS King is going to Navy Propulsion Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina to train as a Submarine Officer.

Spring 2016 Change Of Command

Photo By MIDN 4/c Savannah Clarke and Article by MIDN 4/c Mary Kierstead

In lieu of the usual Leadership Lab, midshipmen donned their summer whites last Wednesdays to participate in the Change of Command Ceremony.  A change of command is a military tradition that represents a transfer of responsibility.  In this case, it signified the turnover of the duties of Midshipmen Battalion Commander from MIDN 1/C Pushaw  to MIDN 2/C Koch.  The ceremony began with the guest speaker, Colonel Penzola, who imparted words of advice to the current and future battalion commanders.  He ended his speech with a quote from John Boyd, a former Air Force Fighter Pilot.  Boyd refused to compromise his morals for advancement:

“And you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go.” He raised his hand and pointed. “If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference.”

Colonel Penzola concluded by challenging midshipmen, “To be or to do, which way will you go?”

Following the speech, MIDN 1/C Carolyn Pushaw relinquished her responsibilities as Battalion Commander to MIDN 2/C Brendan Koch.  MIDN Koch realizes the challenges the midshipmen will face next semester, “but I am confident in each midshipman here to meet those experiences with diligence and as opportunities for development.”  As the first class commissions, the underclassmen are looking forward to another year of growth and development as leaders.

Following the Change of Command, the midshipmen headed inside for an awards ceremony.  Several first class midshipmen were recognized for their outstanding performance in the battalion.  MIDN Carolyn Pushaw received the Harvard ROTC Aviation Award and the Marine Officer’s Sword.  MIDN Carolena Ruprecht received the Surface Navy Association ROTC Award.  The Professor of Naval Science Award was given to MIDN Longest and MIDN Nonnamaker.  MIDN King and MIDN Holcomb were both awarded the Naval Officer’s Sword.  Other company level awards were given out to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of the midshipmen this semester.  MIT 2nd Platoon received Honor Platoon and MIDN 3/C Kellner and MIDN 3/C Mule were awarded Midshipman of the Semester.

The ceremony was followed by breakfast where the midshipmen celebrated another successful year in ROTC.