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Appalachian graduates include 11 new Army officers

BOONE—Eleven seniors from the Army ROTC program at Appalachian State University became officers in the U.S. Army during a commissioning ceremony held on campus May 11.

View larger imageEleven Appalachian State University students were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during ceremonies May 11 on campus. (Photo by Jane Nicholson)
View larger imageThe spring commissioning ceremony at Appalachian State University brought together brothers Micha, Craig and Brad Penley. Micha Penley, pictured left, is an ensign in the U.S. Navy and a Navy pilot. Micha’s twin brother, Craig, is an Appalachian graduate and now a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Older brother Brad is a U.S. Navy lieutenant and commands an explosives ordnance disposal mobile unit. The brothers are from Mountain View. (Photo by Jane Nicholson)

The new second lieutenants are geography major Shawn E. Berry, international and comparative politics major Sean M. Bolick, business management major Andrew J. Carpenter, criminal justice major Steven E. Folts, marketing major Christopher M. Garner, political science major Eric J. Holm, marketing major Eric P. Klein, business management and entrepreneurship major David N. Mitchell, Spanish major Anne E. Moore, finance and banking and management double major Gregory R. Pagano, and history major Craig A. Penley.

Col. Christopher O. Mohan, a 1989 graduate of Appalachian, was guest speaker at the ceremony. “You are about to embark on a great adventure, one that has the potential to take you to the far corners of the world,” he told the new officers. “I want to thank you for volunteering to serve our great nation. Less than 1 percent of our population currently services in uniform. Volunteering when our nation is at war truly says something about your character.”

Successful officers know their strengths and weaknesses, they know their mission and they know their soldiers, Mohan said. “If you do these things well, I guarantee that you will be successful,” he said.

Mohan, a native of Carthage, has served in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, and held assignments at Fort Bragg; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Irwin, Calif.; the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland; and Fort Lewis, Wash.

“Being a commissioned officer comes with authority and privilege, but most of all it comes with responsibility,” said Lt. Col. David W. Cox, professor of military science at Appalachian and battalion commander of the ROTC Mountaineer Battalion. “In the near future, you will be responsible not only for yourself but for up to 40 soldiers who will look to you for leadership and guidance. I challenge each of you to live the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”