More Than 25 Rensselaer Students in ROTC Programs To Be Commissioned in 2021

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

May 19, 2021


More than 25 students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will soon 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 months of May and June, coinciding with the 215th Commencement ceremony hosted by Rensselaer, which will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 22.

From Naval ROTC, 13 Rensselaer students will be commissioned as ensigns into active duty in the United States Navy. Future career paths for those commissioned include five surface warfare officers, three submarine officers, and five aviation officers. The commissioning ceremony will be held on Friday, May 21. Two students from Union College who attended courses through Rensselaer to satisfy requirements will be commissioned at a later date.

The Air Force ROTC Detachment 550 at Rensselaer will commission 12 graduates, including nine from Rensselaer, as second lieutenants in the United States Air Force and Space Force. These new officers will begin training to become pilots, civil engineers, developmental engineers, nuclear and missile operations officers, and space operations officers. The graduates successfully completed four years of officer training concurrent with their collegiate careers. The commissioning ceremony will take place remotely on Friday, May 21, at Thacher State Park.

In the Army, the Mohawk Battalion operates as the Army’s only commissioning source for colleges and universities throughout the Capital Region. At this year’s commissioning ceremony, 13 graduates will be commissioned as second lieutenants. Five will be from Rensselaer, including two from last year’s class. Out of the 13 total, five will go into active duty, three will go into the National Guard, four will go into the Reserves, and one will have an education delay. The commissioning ceremony will be held on June 5 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. More info about these programs can be found at

Written By SCER Staff
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