More Than 30 Students To Graduate From ROTC Programs at Rensselaer

May 13, 2019

More Than 30 Students To Graduate From ROTC Programs at Rensselaer

Commissioning signifies the beginning of a student’s active military service

TROY, N.Y. — This month, more than 30 students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will graduate from Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs.

Commissioning signifies the beginning of a student’s active military service. Each student will take an oath of office in his or her respective branch of service in one of three commissioning ceremonies scheduled during the month of May, coinciding with the 213th Commencement ceremony of the Institute, which will be held on Saturday, May 18, beginning at 8:15 a.m. in the East Campus Athletic Village Stadium.

From Naval ROTC, 15 students will be commissioned as Ensigns into active duty in the United States Navy. Future career paths for those commissioned include: three Surface Warfare Officers, six Submarine Officers, three Student Naval Aviators, one Naval Flight Officer, and two Nuclear Surface Warfare Officers. The commissioning ceremony will be held on Friday, May 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. on the Rensselaer campus in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Theater. RADM John Tammen Jr., USN, will deliver the keynote address and Oath of Office. 

In the Air Force, 10 graduates will become pilots, remotely piloted aircraft operators, cyber operations officers, and developmental engineers. The commissioning ceremony will take place at 12 p.m. on Friday, May 17, in EMPAC. Lieutenant Colonel John E. Bales will deliver the keynote address. Lt. Col. Bales serves as professor of aerospace studies and the commanding officer of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 550 at Rensselaer. He is responsible for recruiting, educating, training, and developing officer candidates into the United States Air Force.

In the Army, the Mohawk Battalion operates as the Army’s only commissioning source for colleges and universities throughout the Capital Region. Of the 13 graduates who were commissioned as second lieutenants, seven were from Rensselaer. Of the 13 total commissionees, seven will go into active duty, five will go into the National Guard, and one will go into the Reserve. Assignment locations for the new lieutenants include: Fort Benning, GA; Fort Huachuca, AZ; Fort Leonard-Wood, MO; Fort Lee, VA. The commissioning ceremony was held on Saturday, May 11, at 2:30 p.m. in the Sarazen Student Union at Siena College.

Rensselaer students engaged in ROTC programs exemplify the spirit of The New Polytechnic, a model for research and education at Rensselaer that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration to address global challenges.


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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit