Six ROTC Cadets Receive Commissions

Lieutenant Chuck Daniel, Technical Instructor, Navy ROTC

On June 3, 2016, the MIT ROTC units revived a proud tradition by conducting the commissioning ceremony onboard the USS Constitution. The oldest commissioned warship in the US Navy, Constitution and her crew were gracious guests. Gifted with gorgeous weather, family, friends, and alumni joined the Institute’s newest commissioned military officers, Ensign Grace Cassidy, Second Lieutenant Matthew Deyo, Second Lieutenant Daniel Getty, Ensign Vincent Kindfuller, Second Lieutenant Alyssa Pybus, and Ensign Carolena Ruprecht, to celebrate their assumption of duty.

2016 MIT ROTC commissioningReverend Robert Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, provided the invocation and benediction. Captain Steve Benke, Commanding Officer of the BU-MIT NROTC Consortium, kicked off the evening with his opening remarks. Dean Dennis Freeman followed, praising the officers’ completion of MIT’s rigorous academic requirements while choosing to pursue a commission and life of service. The guest speaker, Captain Chris Cassidy SM ’00, the chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office and father of Ensign Grace Cassidy, imparted tremendous wisdom to the new officers as he reflected on his own experiences as a naval officer and astronaut.

Each commissionee was individually administered the oath of office and was presented with new officer insignia by loved ones.

Lieutenant Colonel Karen DillardCaptain Steven BenkeThough a joyous occasion, the ceremony was bittersweet. This was the last of many commissioning ceremonies that Reverend Randolph has blessed; he plans to retire this August, after 37 years of service to MIT.

It was also the final commissioning presided over by Captain Benke and Lieutenant Colonel Karen Dillard, Commanding Officer of MIT’s Air Force ROTC Detachment. Captain Benke, a professor of Naval Science, is transferring to the Atlantic Submarine Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Dillard, a professor of Aerospace Studies, will be retiring and taking a teaching position at Georgia Tech Institute. We are grateful for their service and wish them the best of luck in their new posts.

Fair winds and following seas to our newest officers!