Rensselaer Naval ROTC Midshipmen To Be Commissioned on Friday

May 15, 2024

Naval ROTC cadets

On Friday, May 17, 2024, 11 prospective Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduates will be commissioned as Ensigns in the U.S. Navy.  The Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) program was established at Rensselaer in October 1941 and is charged with developing young men and women morally, mentally, and physically for the rigors of service as officers in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Retired Captain Jeffery A. Joseph, U.S. Navy, former captain of the submarines USS Nebraska and USS Memphis and former Rensselaer professor of naval science, will be this year’s guest of honor and commissioning officer.

Of special significance in Rensselaer’s Bicentennial year is Commencement speaker Reid Wiseman ’97, who is a graduate of the NROTC program.  Prior to being selected for astronaut training, Wiseman served as an active duty Naval aviator, flying Navy fighter jets in operational deployments around the world and serving as a test pilot for the Navy’s newest operational aircraft. The newly commissioned officers will have an opportunity to meet Wiseman and share Navy stories at EMPAC prior to the Bicentennial Colloquy.

Several commissioning Midshipmen and Cadets will be honored by Brigadier General (Retired) Mike Swezey, U.S. Army, at the annual Joint ROTC Senior Awards Dinner on Thursday evening at the Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D. Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. General Swezey’s two sons are both on active duty as U.S. Navy officers.

“I am so proud of these young men and women for their courage and grit,” said Commander Dave Latta, professor of practice of naval science.  “They have gone above and beyond for four years in their academics, fitness, and generosity and have truly earned the privilege of serving our nation’s armed forces.”

More information is available at  A short video on the program is at

Written By Katie Malatino
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