Clarksville, TN – The ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has taken away many traditions on Austin Peay State University’s campus, one of those being the Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony. On May 7th, 2021, Austin Peay State University (APSU) will have its first in-person commissioning ceremony since the start of the pandemic, and the ceremony will be the biggest in the program’s 50-year history.
Thirty-three ROTC graduates will celebrate their entry into the U.S. Army officer corps.
ROTC Professor of Military Science Lt. Col. Mark Barton is beyond thankful to honor the graduates and their accomplishments this May.
“It is a great honor to get to teach, coach, mentor and train future second lieutenants and pass on lessons learned and best practices to them,” Barton said. “It gives me great joy that we will be able to commission them in May and have an event that family and friends can attend.”
The ROTC’s last large commissioning happened on May 13th, 2020, when the cadets commissioned virtually at their homes.
ROTC members have endured a lot during the pandemic and have learned to be adaptive to their environment.
“The cadets who will commission in May are competent, committed, confident, creative, adaptable, professional leaders of character, team players, and problem-solvers,” Barton said. “They are also comfortable with collaborative planning and decentralized execution in an ever-changing environment.”
The ceremony will take be from 6:30pm-7:30pm May 7th in the Dunn Center.
The breakdown of APSU graduates is as follows:
- Green to Gold Active-Duty Option: 13.
- Infantry: 4.
- Armor: 4.
- Field Artillery: 1.
- Engineer: 1.
- Aviation: 1.
- Military Police: 3.
- Signal: 5.
- Military Intelligence: 1.
- Chemical: 1.
- Quartermaster: 4.
- Ordnance: 5.
- Adjutant General: 1.
- Medical Service Corps: 1.
- Nurse Corps: 1.
- Active Duty: 29.
- Army Reserve: 2.
- National Guard: 4.
Some graduates are graduating with notable accomplishments. Two graduates are Ranger qualified, and 12 are combat veterans with 25 combat tours among them.
Barton is proud of the large graduating class this year.
“The size of the current APSU ROTC commissioning class shows how much interest there is in this program and all of the hard work by the cadre and staff in recruiting, training, and commissioning of such a large group,” Barton said.
To learn more about the Governor’s Guard ROTC at Austin Peay State University, visit www.apsu.edu/rotc.