A New Beginning for ROTC Grads

By Capt Kristin Hort, Unit Admissions Officer and Technical Instructor of Air Force Aerospace Studies, Air Force ROTC

Friday, June 8th marked a particularly special day for 8 young men and women. Not only were they graduating from MIT, a noteworthy accomplishment in itself, they were also receiving their commission as an officer in the United States military. As they stood aside the USS Constitution, they each repeated their commissioning oath in front of their friends, family and us – the cadre members of the ROTC units at MIT.

For the cadre who’ve prepared them for this day, it was a heartwarming moment. Many of us remember the day we raised our right hand pledging to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Years of training have come before this day - many early mornings, evenings and weekends away from family, and often a whole month or more gone at training camps, all in the hopes of preparing them for that awesome responsibility to lead others.

Due to the requirements of military service, many of us have not been able to see these cadets andmidshipmen through their full four years of training. However, each year a new set of bright-eyed, impressionable freshmen arrive in August, reminding us of the goals and purpose of ROTC and the impact that we will have on these young lives. And while there were certainly challenges on the road to their commissioning – semesterly physical fitness tests, GPA requirements and leadership challenges – in the end it is worth it to each of us to see how much they’ve grown and developed into America’s newest officers.