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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cadets receive commissions, embark on military careers

Thousands of students will receive diplomas Saturday and step into a new stage in their lives. A select number of others will march.
After graduation ceremonies, members in the Corps of Cadets will formally become officers in their respective military branches.Membership in the Corps requires no military obligation. During their second year in the Corps, cadets decide whether they would like to pursue a military or civilian career. For the estimated 40 percent of cadets that choose military commissioning, their education follows a military focus. They apply for a competitive commission in one of the three military branches and commit to a certain number of years in the military.
Captain Bryan French, who has over nine years of military service and works with the A&M Army ROTC program, said he believes the ceremony Saturday is a big step for those cadets who have opted for commission.
“This is a culmination of all these cadets’ efforts over their four years here,” French said. “This is a giant step forward for them and is the start of their military career.”
At the commission ceremony, each of the three branches will take an officer oath. French said 49 Cadets would become Army officers, which is higher than previous years, though he said the Corps would not have an exact count on the total number commissioning until the ceremony gets closer. Those in the Army and Air Force will become 2nd Lieutenants and those in the Navy or Marines will become Ensigns.
Frank Marquette, senior international studies major, will receive an Air Force commission and said he looks forward to a military career.
“I came into my freshman year with no desire to pursue a military career, but at the end of that year I changed my mind,” Marquette said. “There are plenty of reasons why I wanted to get a commission – job security after college, the training aspect. I also feel an obligation to serve my country, plus it will be an adventure.”Aneesa Castaneda, senior construction science major, said she also wants to serve her country and honor her family.”My dad is prior service and was in the Army Corps of Engineers,” Castaneda said. “Never once have I looked back, and to this day I look forward to making my dad proud. I will be the first female officer of my family to join the ranks. But most importantly I wanted to serve my country.”Andrew Mann, senior psychology major, will commission with the Army and said he believes it is his duty to the country to serve in order to protect the freedoms citizens enjoy.”I love my country, and I love the freedoms that I have enjoyed so far in my life,” Mann said. “I would gladly give my life to ensure that my fellow Americans can continue to enjoy those freedoms, and that future generations can continue to enjoy them. I know that’s kind of a clich? answer that a lot people give, but it’s something I have wanted to do since I was in elementary school.”
Jacob McIntosh, senior computer engineering major, said it’s his “turn to serve.”
“Someone has got to step up and I am proud to do it,” McIntosh said.
Apart from the military service academies, the Corps of Cadets consistently commissions more officers than other institution in the U.S. Marquis Alexander, Corps commander and senior international studies major, said this is because of qualities that make A&M unique.
“As a Tier One research university, we can offer a rigorous academic environment, opportunities for excellent military development through the Corps of Cadets and ROTC programs, but also a vibrant social life which is a different experience from the service academies,” Alexander said. “Coupling that with the current media spotlight that A&M is experiencing, it’s a great destination spot for future military officers.”

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