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From Appalachian students to military officers

ROTC1216_t.jpgBOONE—Four Appalachian State University graduates will soon join the less than 1 percent of U.S. citizens who volunteer to serve in the military.

Public relations major Jorge R. Maldonado, psychology major Kelli N. Tapia, anthropology major William J. Tynan and sociology major Kailyn A. Zimmer were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during ceremonies held Dec. 16 at Appalachian State University.

William J. Tynan, left, Kailyn A. Zimmer, Jorge R. Maldonado and Kelli N. Tapia.jpgAmong the newest officers in the U.S. Army are William J. Tynan, left, Kailyn A. Zimmer, Jorge R. Maldonado and Kelli N. Tapia. The Appalachian State University graduates were commissioned as second lieutenants during ceremonies held Dec. 16 on campus.

Maldonado will join the Army’s Armor Branch, Tapia will join the Military Intelligence Corps, Tynan will join the Infantry, and Zimmer will join the Adjutant General Corps with the N.C. National Guard.

“Leading young soldiers is a privilege in our great military,” said Lt. Col. Maury A. Williams who spoke at the ceremony. “The lessons you have learned throughout the (ROTC) program and the lessons learned on this campus will no doubt prepare you for what lies ahead and will provide the critical skills that will assist you in your first assignment,” he said. “Do what it is right, always, and lead by the examples of leadership you were taught here at Appalachian State University.”

Williams, a 1989 graduate of Appalachian, is the former executive officer for Appalachian’s ROTC battalion and currently commander for the N.C. National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion headquartered in Raleigh.

“You are entering service at a time when other citizens may feel that the cost of self-sacrifice is too much to bear,” Williams told the new officers.  “It is this quality that makes you unique.  Less than 1 percent of our citizens serve our nation’s military. And roughly 1 percent of those who serve take on the added responsibility to lead. By sitting here today, you have distinguished yourself ahead of other students.”