ROTC To Commission 18 Second Lieutenants May 17

May 12, 2003

Baylor University's Air Force ROTC unit will commission 18 graduating students as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 17, in Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center. Guest speaker at the commissioning ceremony will be Col. Alan Thompson, commander of the Air Force ROTC nationwide.

As commander of AFROTC, Thompson is responsible for recruiting and overseeing the preparation of more than 18,000 officer candidates through a comprehensive college program at 144 host universities and over 1,000 cross-town universities. At Baylor, 165 students participated in ROTC during the spring semester.

He also is a command pilot with more than 3,500 single seat fighter/attack hours and has been awarded numerous medals including the Bronze Star, an Air Medal, a Kosovo Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters.

The commissioning ceremony is a traditional event conducted for every military officer. Each student is called forward and is sworn to the oath of office. The oath can be administered only by an active duty or retired commissioned officer. Some students ask family members who qualify to administer the oath; others ask current or former detachment officers to administer it. After the oath, family members or "significant others" pin the lieutenant bars on the student's shoulders.

"The commissioning ceremony is both a solemn and fun experience these students will remember for life," said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bowles, commander of Baylor ROTC. "These new officers will be heading off into a variety of career fields, ranging from pilot to services officer, space and missiles to intelligence."

For more information about the ceremony, call Bowles at 710-3513.

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