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Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Commissions Eight New Army Second Lieutenants
Melbourne, Fl – December 17, 2021 –
The Florida Institute of Technology Army ROTC Panther Battalion held their Fall Ceremony to commission eight new Army Second Lieutenants on Friday, December 17th. The Commissioning Ceremony was held outdoors at the Florida Tech Pantherium for friends and families and also live-streamed on Facebook. This was the first in-person commissioning ceremony at Florida Tech since the start of the pandemic in 2020. The new Lieutenants took the commissioning oath of office and pinned on their new lieutenant gold bars in the ceremony. They heard messages from Dr. Dwayne McCay, President of Florida Institute of Technology and The Honorable Patrick J. Murphy, former Undersecretary of the Army and a prior Congressman from Pennsylvania.
The new Florida Tech Graduates and Army Second Lieutenants are:
- Ballard Barker, from Port Saint Johns, graduating with a B.S. degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was commissioned as an active-duty aviation officer.
- Jonathan Bruder, from Jacksonville, graduated with a B.S. degree in computer engineering and was commissioned as an Engineer Officer in the Army Reserves.
- Jacob Hahn, from Arlington, VA, graduated with a B.S. degree in Construction Management and was commissioned as an active-duty Engineer Officer, detailed to the Field Artillery.
- Pearson Kerchner, from Rock Island, IL, graduated with a B.S. degree in Information Systems and was commissioned as an active-duty Signal Officer, detailed to the Infantry.
- Kasey Money, from Port St. Lucie, graduated with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Science and was commissioned as an active-duty Military Intelligence Officer, detailed to the Chemical Corps.
- Joe Paducci, from Towson, MD, graduated with a B.S. degree Aerospace Engineering. He completed his ROTC training as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned as an active-duty Infantry Officer.
- Gianna Petrazzulo, graduated from Viera High and received a B.S. degree in Biomedical Sciences. She was commissioned as an active-duty Transportation Officer.
- Kevin Taylor, was born in Honduras and moved to Meritt Island in 2015. He graduated with a B.S. degree in construction and was commissioned as a Military Police Officer in the Army Reserves.
The new Lieutenants were also congratulated by LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science. LTC Crook reminded the new Lieutenants of the responsibilities they were undertaking as commissioned officers in the Army. Colonel Steve Bond, US Army-Retired and President of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) was also on-hand and spoke at the ceremony. He congratulated the new officers on their achievement, presented them with “Gold Bars” -- the rank insignia of Second Lieutenants on behalf of MOAA, and wished them the best of luck as they begin their journey as officers in the United States Army.
Photo Caption: Colonel Steve Bond (Center), President of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of MOAA presents the eight new Army Second Lieutenants commissioned at Florida Tech on December 17th with Gold Bar Commissioning Sets on behalf of MOAA. Dr. Dwayne McCay (far Right), President of Florida Tech and the Honorable Patrick J. Murphy (far Left) former Undersecretary of the Army spoke at the ceremony.
Photo Caption: Billboard at the Florida Tech Student Union Building congratulates the Army’s newest Second 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 1200 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 www.moaacc.org.
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