Six cadets to become Army officers at ROTC commissioning

Oath of Office to be taken during May 5 commencement ceremony
​Jerry Poling | May 1, 2018
A cadet, left, takes the Oath of Office during a recent Northwoods Battalion ROTC commissioning ceremony.
A cadet, left, takes the Oath of Office during a recent Northwoods Battalion ROTC commissioning ceremony. / UW-Stout photo

The department of military science at University of Wisconsin-Stout will hold its spring commissioning ceremony Saturday, May 5, for six Army ROTC cadets.

Brig. Gen. David F. O'DonahueThe cadets also are graduating with bachelor’s degrees that day and will take the Oath of Office from Brig. Gen. David F. O’Donahue during the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony at Johnson Fieldhouse. O’Donahue is deputy adjutant general-civil support for the state of Wisconsin.

Following the ceremony, at approximately 11 a.m. in the Memorial Student Center, the new U.S. Army second lieutenants will receive their first salute and have their bars pinned on their uniforms.

The cadets, their majors and assignments are:

  • Alexander Beyer, of Hudson, applied social science; Infantry Corps, Active Duty Officer
  • Alec Boes, of Mercer, health, wellness and fitness; Field Artillery Corps, Active Duty Officer
  • Samuel Hirsch, of Waterford, manufacturing engineering; Armor Corps, Active Duty Officer
  • Nathaniel Hitchcock, of Mason, business administration; Engineer Corps, Wisconsin Army National Guard Officer
  • Cole Quednow, of Ogema, construction; Aviation Corps, Active Duty Officer
  • Allegra Van RossumAllegra Van Rossum, of Sun Prairie, computer science-game design and development; Cyber Corps, Active Duty Officer

Hitchcock and Quednow also have been awarded the title of Distinguished Military Graduate by the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

The ROTC program at UW-Stout is part of the Northwoods Battalion, which includes programs at UW-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. ROTC stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Separate commissioning ceremonies will be held on those campuses.

Army ROTC is a program of study that combines electives in military science with practical leadership training to prepare men and women to become Army officers. Upon successful completion of the Army ROTC program and graduation from college, cadets receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.

Commissioning recognizes a cadet’s transition from student to leader and is the last step taken before beginning a career as a U.S. Army officer. 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.

Lt. Col. Jesse Johnson“These newly commissioned officers have spent the past four years developing their leadership skills. They have been challenged as individuals, followers and as leaders through practical experience leading the cadet platoons, companies and the battalion,” said Lt. Col. Jesse Johnson, UW-Stout professor of military science and department chair. “They understand what it takes to train, motivate and inspire their soldiers and noncommissioned officers — and will apply these skills as they lead platoons in operations around the world.”

The Oath of Office taken by cadets at commissioning is similar to that taken by the president of the United States at inauguration. Family members, or others close to the individual, pin the new officer with gold bars followed by a salute from a noncommissioned officer of his or her choice.

“Newly commissioned second lieutenants have responsibilities that far exceed those of most new college graduates,” Johnson said. “They will arrive at their units and immediately take charge of a platoon, where they will make decisions every day that affect the health, welfare and combat readiness of their soldiers.”

Each year the battalion trains approximately 200 cadets across all academic levels and produces an average of 22 lieutenants.

In fall 2017 the battalion was named the top program in the 3rd Army ROTC Brigade for the second time in three years. The brigade includes 42 ROTC programs at colleges and universities in nine Midwest states and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.



Top: Brig. Gen. David F. O’Donahue

Middle: Allegra Van Rossum

Bottom: Lt. Col. Jesse Johnson

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