BOSTON, Massachusetts. (May 18, 2015) – Ten Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen and Marines were commissioned as naval officers at the Hillel House on Boston University’s campus.
The eight Navy-option and two Marine-option Boston University and Boston College NROTC students were recognized by the guest of honor, Captain Christopher Simpson, USMC, in front of an audience of more than two hundred people before entering military service. These newly commissioned officers will serve around the globe in a variety of military occupational specialties including aviation, surface warfare, submarine warfare and Marine Corps air and ground.
Commissioned as ensigns were, Andrew Bates, Hannah Constantakis, Joshua Dalva, Alexander Hayden, Braydon Hummeldorf, Akshat Patel, Elizabeth Shaffer, and Sarah Verille. Commissioned as 2nd lieutenants were, Karly Boettcher and Paul Sean-Woo Kim. All were commissioned by officers of their choosing.
Captain Simpson delivered his address to the audience and gave resonating advice to the new ensigns and 2nd lieutenants. He stressed the importance of caring for one’s people, offering the wisdom that “it’s not about you anymore,” and that the future ensigns and 2nd lieutenants will always have to put their people first. Captain Simpson is preparing to take command of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines and he has previously served in three combat tours in Iraq, one as a Lance Corporal and two as an officer after obtaining his commission through OCS. Captain Simpson has also served as the Executive Officer of Recruiting Station New Jersey, and was the Aide-de-Camp to the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. Captain Steve Benke, Commanding Officer of the Boston NROTC Consortium, remarked that it was a “wonderful opportunity to watch these ensigns grow over the last 3 years, and it was “very exciting to see their first step” into the Fleet.
Ensign Hannah Constantakis, a new surface warfare officer who will report aboard the USS San Diego in San Diego, California, reflected on her journey through NROTC, saying “I’m going to miss the close knit community I had in ROTC. Every year we’ve grown stronger together, learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses and contributing what we can to make our team the best it can be. We all come from different backgrounds, but together we’ve made something really special. Although it’s sad to be leaving, I’ll always hold our memories in a special place and I look forward to future positive communities in the fleet.”
Christopher Hayden, father of Ensign Alexander Hayden, proclaimed praise for these new ensigns, noting that he was “super proud of what these guys represent” and that after getting “the best education, they will surely be successful in their pursuits.”
Lieutenant Jonathan Blair, who served as the officer-in-charge for the senior commissioning, said that it was a “heartfelt and touching” ceremony, encapsulated by “excellent speeches” by all parties. Overall, the commissioning at Boston University was a memorable event for all and marks the beginning of an important journey for the new ensigns and 2nd lieutenants. Fair winds and following seas to the Class of 2015.
The NROTC program, overseen by Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois, was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and Navy core values in order to commission college graduates as Naval officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the Naval service and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
For more information about NROTC, visit https://www.nrotc.navy.mil/. For more information about NSTC, visit http://www.netc.navy.mil/nstc/ or visit the NSTC Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/NavalServiceTraining/.
By Midshipman Sean J. Spata