ROTC hosts its Spring 2004 commissioning ceremony

Thirteen seniors begin their careers as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, three receive high honors | April 19, 2004

The University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps' (ROTC) All for One Battalion graduates 13 seniors this year, including three who will receive the distinguished military honor.

The seniors will be awarded their commissions on Friday, May 14, at 11:00 a.m. in the Schiff Family Conference Center located in the Cintas Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Four-star Commanding Gen. Burwell B. Bell III, of the United States Army Europe and 7th Army, is the event’s guest speaker. His talk will focus on the responsibilities and expectations of the newly commissioned officers as they enter the Army.

“Earning and taking a commission in the U.S. Army is a big responsibility,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Gobin, professor and chairman of the department of military science. "The Army and the U.S. have a higher expectation of these officers because they are responsible for others' lives."

This year’s class continues the battalion’s tradition of excellence by producing three cadets who will receive the distinguished military graduate honor. It is awarded to the top 20 percent of the nation's ROTC cadets who have exhibited significant academic and military merit.

This year's honorees are seniors Pat Hicks of Olmsted Falls, Ohio, Eric Wictora of Cleveland and Pat Owsiak of New Berlin, Wis. Owsiak ranked 11th of 4,681 cadets nationwide and participated in the annual George C. Marshall ROTC Awards Seminar at the Virginia Military Institute earlier this month. The seminar honors top cadets of the nation’s 272 ROTC programs based on leadership potential and professional development. After graduating, Owsiak plans to attend Loyola University of Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine.

Members of the graduating class will continue training in specialized areas in the Army. Of those graduating, three students will train as engineers, three as chemical corps officers, and two are going into military intelligence. Others are entering the Army as quartermaster, ordinance, transportation and military police officers. One officer plans to attend law school.

Gobin also said the ever-changing political conditions around the world offer these officers greater expectations as they enter the workforce.

"Like the past two year’s classes, this class will serve their country very well, and that goes hand and hand with Xavier’s mission," said Gobin.