The officer corps of the U.S. Army and Air Force will be augmented by newly commissioned second lieutenants going into pilot training, cybersecurity, and training programs for engineer and infantry officers, after 10 cadets transitioned into officers in the armed forces from WPI’s ROTC programs.
The four Army and six Air Force officers were commissioned in separate ceremonies in May that were shared with friends and family via Zoom and Facebook Live. The ceremonies were coordinated to comply with COVID-19 distancing protocols.
The Army cadets were among a total of 13 from WPI’s ROTC Bay State Battalion commissioned from WPI, Worcester State University, Fitchburg State University, Clark University, and UMass Lowell.
During the Air Force commissioning, Lt. Col. Jack Skiles III, Commander, Detachment 340 Air Force ROTC, commended his detachment for garnering the honor of number one in the nation out of 145 detachments.
“That is no small feat, considering the size of our detachment, which is really small, and the fact that we’re all such big nerds,” he said, evoking some laughter. Additionally, the WPI detachment ranked third regionally and fifth in the nation in GPA. “This is a highly competitive program,” he said.
“The cadets are about to take the oath of office to transition from a civilian to an officer in the greatest air force in the world,” Skiles said in addressing the attendees. “They will swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies. This is a huge commitment.
“President Kennedy said it this way: ‘Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.’”
The following cadets were sworn in as Air Force officers:
● Amelia Brown (Mechanical Engineering), Mylena Guzman (Mechanical Engineering), Emily Hammer (Mechanical Engineering), and Brian Kelsey (Aerospace Engineering) will report to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, to attend Undergraduate Pilot Training.
● James Maxwell (Mechanical Engineering) will be assigned to Los Angeles AFB in California.
● Huyen Santelli (Biomedical Engineering) will go to Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi for Cyber Warrior training.