ROTC To Hold Commissioning Ceremony May 15

May 12, 2004

by Julie Campbell Carlson

Baylor University's Air Force ROTC unit will commission 21 graduating students as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 15, in Barfield Drawing Room at the Bill Daniel Student Center. Guest speaker will be Maj. Gen. Richard Mentemeyer, assistant deputy chief of staff for Air and Space Operations.

Mentemeyer is responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff for formulating policy supporting air, space, intelligence, nuclear counterproliferation, homeland security, weather and information operations.

He earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the Air Force Academy in 1974 and completed undergraduate pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Miss., in 1975. His command assignments include the 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Little Rock AFB, Ark., and the 19th Operations Group at Robins AFB, Ga. He also commanded the 722nd Air Refueling Wing at March AFB, Calif., the 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB, Texas, and the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J.

The general's staff tours include Headquarters Military Airlift Command operations, U.S. Central Command's Strategic Plans and Policy Division, and a Pentagon tour as Chief of the Mobility Forces Division at Headquarters U.S. Air Force. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours.

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.

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