2014 ROTC Commissioning: A New Beginning

MIDN 3/C Sean Lowder '17

Major General James T. WaltonOn June 6, after graduating with their fellow students, thirteen MIT ROTC cadets were commissioned as officers into their respective branch of service. The Commissioning is the culmination of four years of training and the beginning of a term of service. In front of an audience of more than one hundred people, Dean Dennis Freeman commended the “next generation of leaders” on their accomplishments and Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart thanked the ROTC students “for enriching the fabric of the MIT student community, for representing the core MIT values of excellence, integrity and service, and for your service to our country.”

The cadets were commissioned by the guest of honor, Major General James T. Walton. Major General Walton is the commander of the 311th Signal Command and is serving as the U.S. Army, Pacific Deputy Chief of Staff. He is also an MIT alumnus, receiving both a Masters in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a PhD in Operations Research from MIT.  In his speech, Major General Walton expressed the importance of family, all of the love, courage, and support that they have given over the years, and how it is still important to remember them for all that they still do. He also told the newly commissioned officers to remember the core values, to stand by them, and to use them as a guide for decision-making.

Naval ROTC commissioned Ensigns James Byrne, Brian Foley, Victoria McCrave, Tyler Mehrman, and Elliot Sykora.

2014 Naval ROTC Cadets

Army ROTC commissioned Second Lieutenants Andrew Fijan, Amy Liu, and Christian Reed.

2014 Army ROTC Cadets

Air Force ROTC commissioned Second Lieutenants James Krasner, Alexander Nelson, Jay Pothula, and Michael Sanders.

2014 Air Force ROTC Cadets

Ensign James Byrne, a new submarine officer said, “I am incredibly thankful for the guidance and mentorship by example of the officers who commissioned before me, as well as the unit staff. I hope that someday I might do the same for others down the line. I know that I’ve still got a lot of learning to do, but I’m ready to take on the next challenge.”

Army 2nd Lieutenant Christian Reed  commented, "ROTC was a very enriching experience in my otherwise very academically dominated career at MIT. It allowed me to experience a different perspective and meet a lot of amazing people."

LT David Lueck, the surface warfare officer of the MIT NROTC Unit, said, “Commissioning ceremonies are the best part of the job for NROTC instructors and staff members. It’s always a great experience to see newly commissioned ensigns and second lieutenants rewarded for their years of hard work and dedication.”

For more information on the ROTC programs at MIT visit: