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Appalachian ROTC cadets receive second lieutenant bars

DSCF0433r_t.jpgBOONE—Among the more than 1,000 students receiving degrees during commencement Dec. 16 at Appalachian State University were eight new officers in the U.S. Army.

The officers were commissioned as second lieutenants by Lt. Col. Douglas G. Jett, chairman of the Department of Military Science and Leadership at Appalachian and leader of the university’s Army ROTC program.

Jett spoke of the challenges and rewards facing the new officers.

DSCF0433r_t2.jpgEight ROTC cadets and graduating seniors from Appalachian State University have been commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The officers have been assigned to various branches within the Army, such as military intelligence, infantry, signal corps and field artillery. (Appalachian photo by Jane Nicholson)

“The world has entered a period of radical and violent change. The threats today are more diverse and less predictable than any other period in our history,” Jett said. “However, I cannot help but be excited when I think about what lies ahead for these young men – the adventure, broad horizons and the excitement. I envy you. You are the new Army. You will take the Army being passed to you by old guys like me and lift it to new heights and new accomplishments.”

Jett said the new officers would help make new discoveries and find solutions to challenges the previous generation of soldiers could not solve. “The nation is in desperate need of men like you – men of character who will stand up to evil both here at home and on future battlefields,” he said.

The officers will use the skills they learned at Appalachian and in the ROTC program every day, Jett said. “When doing so, use your character. Your strong character will see you through your struggles and will insprire those you lead to victory.”

The newly commissioned officers are Raymond P. Dillard, a theatre major from Atlanta, Ga., who will join the infantry; Robert D. Ellingham, a music education major from Boone who will join the signal corps; Charles D. Fitzpatrick, a business management major from Fayetteville who will join the infantry; Nickolas A. Mitchell, a geography major from Greenville, S.C., who is awaiting his branch assignment; Roderick J. O’Connor Jr., a history and secondary education major from Harrisburg, Pa., who will join field artillery; Clayton R. Qualm, an economics major from Peachtree City, Ga., who will join military intelligence; John M. Richardson, a middle grades education major from Mount Holly who will join the transportation corps; and Nicholas A. Rogers, a criminal justice major from Huntersville who will join field artillery.