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Florida Tech Commissioning Ceremony, 30 April 2021


Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Conducts Virtual Commissioning for two Army Second Lieutenants  

Melbourne, Fl – April 30, 2021

On Friday April 30th, the Florida Institute of Technology ROTC Panther Battalion held their Spring Commissioning Ceremony for two new Army Second Lieutenants.  Normally, the Panther Battalion conducts the commissioning with speakers, friends and families attending on the Florida Tech Campus just prior to spring graduation.  Due to on-going pandemic measures however, the commissioning for the new Army Officers was conducted virtually.  They took the commissioning oath of office via video-teleconference from multiple remote locations, pinning on their new rank insignia with friends and family, while other participants live-streamed the ceremony from over 30 locations.  At the ceremony, LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science, reminded the new Lieutenants of the responsibilities they were undertaking as commissioned officers in the Army.  The Lieutenants also heard messages from Dr. Dwayne McCay, President the Florida Institute of Technology, and Brigadier General Joseph B. Berger III, Commandant of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Legal Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

The new Florida Tech Graduates and Army Second Lieutenants are:

  • Marco Vergara, graduating with a degree in Biomedical Science.  He was commissioned as an Active-Duty Medical Service Corps Officer.  Marco received a four-year ROTC scholarship to attend Florida Tech.  As part of his ROTC studies, he completed a Cadet Leadership Development and Cultural Understanding Course in Chile.  He is also a graduate of Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, California. 

  • Alex Apathy, Graduating with a degree in Aviation Management.  He received a three-and-a-half-year ROTC scholarship to attend Florida Tech.  His ROTC studies included Opposing Force Training and Basic Airborne (Parachute) Training.  He is also a graduate of Berea-Midpark High School in Berea, Ohio.  

Normally, representatives from the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAACC) attend the commissioning ceremony and present the new officers with their first “Gold Bars” --the rank insignia of Second Lieutenants.  This year, MOAACC representatives remotely live-streamed the ceremony and “virtually” presented the commissioning sets to the new officers.  Colonel Steve Bond (USA-Retired), President of MOAACC said--“We congratulate Alex and Marco and welcome them to our ranks.  We wish them the best of luck in their journey as officers in the United States Army.” 


 Photo Caption:  New Army Second Lieutenants Alex Apathy (L) and Marco Vergara (R), Commissioned from Florida Institute of Technology ROTC on April 30th.  Colonel Steve Bond, US Army Retired, President of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAACC) (C) virtually presents commissioning sets to the new Lieutenants.   



The Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral Chapter (MOAACC) is an affiliate of the national Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).  MOAA and affiliates are nonprofit veterans’ organization dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and ensuring our nation keeps its commitments to currently serving, retired and former members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors.  Membership is open to those who hold or have ever held a warrant or commission in any of the Uniformed Services or their surviving spouse.  MOAA and its affiliates are nonpartisan organizations.

Located in Brevard County, Florida, the Cape Canaveral chapter is the largest chapter in MOAA with 1400 members.  MOAACC supports MOAA’s aims at the national and local level, engages in philanthropy by providing direct support—monetarily and with volunteer hours—to local military, veterans, and their families, and is a social organization sponsoring activities for members.  For more information, visit our website at


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