Baylor Air Force ROTC To Commission 1,000th Officer Aug. 11

Aug. 10, 2001

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University's Air Force ROTC program will commission its 1,000th officer at a special ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in the Baines-Fentress Room on the second floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

Erich Hartenberger, a senior aviation sciences major from Albuquerque, N.M, will be commissioned into the Air Force as a second lieutenant. Hartenberger will receive his bachelor's degree earlier that morning during Baylor's commencement ceremonies at the Ferrell Center. He begins pilot training later this month at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas.

"It's an honor to be one in a long line of graduates from Baylor's ROTC program and to have this opportunity to serve my country," Hartenberger said. "These fours years have taught me so many valuable skills: discipline, organization, leadership and working with people from different backgrounds and personalities to accomplish a common goal."

Col. Gary Praesel (USAF Ret.), a graduate of both Baylor and the ROTC program in 1973, will speak on the long and successful history of the Baylor detachment, which has been in existence since 1948.

"The commissioning of our 1,000th officer represents a tremendous accomplishment," said Capt. David Long, assistant professor of aerospace studies and a 1994 Baylor ROTC graduate. "If you look back on those 1,000, we've counted 10 among them who have become generals. Usually you can expect only one out of 1,000 second lieutenants to become a general, so Baylor ROTC has produced some very stellar graduates."

The program is currently under the command of Lt. Col. Jeff Bowles, professor of aerospace studies and a 1983 Baylor ROTC graduate. About 130 cadets are expected on campus this fall, which will be one of the larger cadet wings on the Baylor campus in recent years.

For more information, contact Capt. Long at 710-3513.

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