Leading with character was a point of emphasis during the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on April 29.
Eight cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants during the ceremony, officially signaling a start to their careers as officers in the United States Army.
Lt. Col. Edwin Escobar, commander of the Rattler Battalion, reminded the cadets and family members in attendance that he was surrounded by a great team at FAMU, to include his cadre, Department of the Army Civilians and the University’s faculty and staff.
“I’m honored to be the Professor of Military Science here at FAMU. I’m always overjoyed at these events because it marks the beginning of your career as an Army Officer,” Escobar said.
Brig. Gen. Donna Martin, deputy commanding general of operations for the United States Army Recruiting Command served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. During her remarks Martin reminded the lieutenants of their sacred obligation to the soldiers and families they will soon lead and guide.
“You will soon be responsible for America’s most precious resource, the American soldier. As a leader of character, you accept personal responsibility for your actions and those of your subordinates,” Martin said.
A few of Martin’s previous assignments include a deployment to Saudi Arabia as a platoon leader in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm, service as Branch Chief in the U.S. Pacific Command J34 Antiterrorism/Force Protection Directorate and Third Infantry Division Inspector General.
Martin encouraged the eager officers to always strive to grow and develop as leaders throughout their military careers.
“Living and learning does not stop after you receive your commission, it is the beginning. Yes it will be challenging at times, but I can tell you that living the life of an Army officer has been extremely rewarding to me and has filled me with an enormous sense of purpose,” Martin said.
Family members attending the commissioning were informed that they have already sacrificed for their country in a significant way.
“You have given us these fine cadets who will soon be commissioned officers. You have instilled in them the values of discipline, hard work and the importance of service to our great nation,” Martin said.
Ultimately, the newly commissioned officers and their families were encouraged to cherish the moment and celebrate the decisions made that helped them reach such a monumental period in their lives.
“When things get tougher, because they will, remember today, remember how you feel today. I want you to reflect on what you’ve already accomplished. Managing the responsibilities of ROTC while balancing a full class load is an enormous task and you should be very proud,” Martin said.