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Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Commissions Four New Army Second Lieutenants


Melbourne, Florida

The Florida Institute of Technology Army ROTC Panther Battalion held their Spring Ceremony to commission four new Army Second Lieutenants on Friday, May 6th.  The Commissioning Ceremony was held in the Florida Tech Student Union Building with friends and families in attendance.  This was the first in-door 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. Marco Carvalho, Acting President of Florida Institute of Technology and Guest Speaker, Brigadier General William Glaser, the Director of Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team with Army Futures Command in Orlando.     

The new Florida Tech Graduates and Army Second Lieutenants are:

  • Ryan Lepp, graduated with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering.  He was commissioned as an active-duty field artillery officer with a basic branch of engineer.
  • Nicholas Piccirilli graduated with a B.S. degree in Aviation Management (non-flight) and was commissioned into the Florida National Guard as an Air Defense Artillery Officer.
  • Tricia Prior graduated with a B.A. degree in Forensic Psychology and was commissioned as an active-duty Air Defense Artillery Officer.
  • Liam Avery Yu graduated with a B.S. degree in Information Systems and was commissioned as an active-duty Transportation Officer.  

The new Lieutenants were also congratulated by LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science.   Colonel Steve Bond, US Army-Retired and Past 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. 

A group of people in military uniformsDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Photo Caption:  New Army Lieutenants and Speakers at the Florida Tech Commissioning Ceremony on May 6th. (L-R Front:  2LT Liam Yu, 2LT Nicholas Piccirilli, 2LT Tricia Prior; L-R Back: Guest Speaker-Brigadier General William Glaser, 2LT Ryan Lepp, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science LTC Jimmy Crook, Acting Pres Florida Tech Dr. Marco Carvalho, and Past President Cape Canaveral Chapter of MOAA Colonel (Ret) Steve Bond.  The Cape Canaveral Chapter of MOAA provided the new Second Lieutenants with Gold Bar Commissioning Sets. 


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


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