ROTC cadets to be commissioned in spring ceremonies

May 13, 2014

Two commissioning ceremonies for Army ROTC cadets in the Northwoods Battalion will be held in May.

UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls comprise the Northwoods Battalion in northern Wisconsin. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

University of Wisconsin-Stout department of military science will hold its Spring Commissioning at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 17, in the Fireside Room on the Terrace of the Memorial Student Center.

Col. Dave ChurchCol. David Church, of Menomonie and branch chief in the 75th Training Division, Fort Snelling, Minn., will be the guest speaker.

The hometowns, universities, majors and Army branch for cadets to be commissioned are:

  • Travis Blinkiewicz, of Tomah, UW-Stout; construction; Corps of Engineers
  • Sean Bottin, of St. Paul, UW-River Falls; history; Armor
  • Ian Dahm, of Menomonie, UW-Stout; dietetics; Signal Corps
  • Ryan Sajdera, of Radisson, UW-Stout; health, wellness and fitness; Aviation

UW-Eau Claire will hold its ceremony at 5 p.m., Friday, May 16, in the Ojibwe Grand Ballroom of the Davies Center.

Col. Julie Gerety, Wisconsin National Guard Direction of Domestic Operations/13/5/7, will be the guest speaker.

The hometowns, universities, majors and Army branch for cadets to be commissioned May 16 are:

  • Allison Derthick, of Knoxville, Tenn., UW-Eau Claire; criminal justice; Military Police Corps
  • Bryan Donovan, of Greenfield, UW-Eau Claire; psychology; Medical Service Corps
  • Dietrich Henckel, of Viroqua, UW-River Falls; agriculture engineering technology; Aviation
  • Alexander Thornton, of Chippewa Falls, UW-Eau Claire; criminal justice; Military Intelligence
  • Shane Smith, of Dousman, UW-Eau Claire; chemistry liberal arts; Chemical Corps

Commissioning ceremonies include a commitment to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. A cadet is granted authority to carry out the duties as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. The authority to grant a commission rests with Congress.

During the ceremony, each cadet takes the Oath of Office, similar to the president of the United States at inauguration. The cadet chooses an officer or retired officer to administer the oath. Family members, or others close to the individual being commissioned, pin the cadet with gold bars. The ceremony culminates with the newly commissioned officer being saluted by a noncommissioned officer of his or her choice.

ROTC cadets are commissioned in December 2013.Each year the battalion trains approximately 140 cadets across all academic levels and produces an average of 16 lieutenants. Winter, spring and summer commissioning ceremonies are held. Students enroll in leadership courses as electives in pursuit of a degree of their choice.

Northwoods Battalion history

In 2005 an ROTC partnership program was established at UW-Stout with 11 students. A program already existed at UW-Stevens Point.

Students from UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls took ROTC courses through UW-Stout.

In 2007 a partnership program was established at UW-River Falls.

In 2009 ROTC became part of UW-Eau Claire, and in 2010 a satellite agreement was signed.

For more information refer here.


Caption photo no. 1: Col. David Church

Caption photo no. 2: Commissioning ceremony, December 2013