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Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Commissions four new Army Second Lieutenants


COL Steve Bond, USA (Ret)—MOAACC Army Liaison

The Florida Institute of Technology Army ROTC Panther Battalion held their winter ceremony to commission four new Army Second Lieutenants on Friday, December 16th.  The Commissioning Ceremony was held outdoors at the Florida Tech Panthereum with fellow cadets, friends, and families in attendance.  The new Lieutenants took the commissioning oath of office and pinned on their new “gold bars”—the rank insignia of Second Lieutenants--in the ceremony.  The new officers have also met the requirements to graduate from Florida Tech at the winter commencement.  At the Commissioning Ceremony, the new officers heard messages from the Interim President of Florida Tech, Robert King, J.D. and Guest Speaker, Brigadier General John M. Dreska Jr, the Commander of the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) in Los Angeles, CA.  Of note to chapter members, BG Dreska is the son of MG John Dreska and Lurana Dreska, a surviving spouse member of the chapter.  The new Lieutenants were also congratulated by chapter member LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science and COL Steve Bond, USA-Retired, MOAACC Past President.

The new Army Second Lieutenants, Florida Tech Graduates, and members of MOAA and the Cape Canaveral Chapter are:

  • Jared Blanco—Jared is a graduate of Merritt Island High School and earned his B.S. degree at Florida Tech in Software Engineering.   He was the cadet battalion commander and earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge in Gold.  Jared will initially serve in the National Guard as a Cyber Officer. 
  • Nathan Johnson—Nathan graduated from High School in Fairfax, VA and earned his B.S. degree at Florida Tech in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics.  He also completed Air Assault School as a cadet.  Nathan was commissioned as an Engineer Officer and will initially serve in the Army Reserves in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 
  • Julia Seibold—Julia attended High School in North Carolina and earned a B.S. degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Tech, where she was also on the Rowing Team.  She was commissioned as an active duty Engineer Officer and is awaiting her unit assignment.   
  • Jonathan Shimer—Jonathan graduated from Cocoa Beach High School and earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Florida Tech, where he was also the President of the Rugby Club.  Jonathan was commissioned as a National Guard Ordnance Officer with assignment in Quincy, FL. 

Additionally, MOAACC was represented by CAPT Steve Cusick, (USN-Retired) incoming 2nd Vice President who helped present the new officers with their “Gold Bar” commissioning sets on behalf of MOAA and the Cape Canaveral Chapter, as well as membership in MOAA and the chapter. 


Photo Caption:  New Army Lieutenants and speakers at the Florida Tech Commissioning Ceremony on December 16th.  (L-R) LTC Jimmy Crook--Florida Tech Professor of Military Science; 2LT Jared Blanco; Florida Tech Interim President Robert King, J.D; 2LT Jonathan Shimer; Brigadier General John Dreska--Guest Speaker; 2LT Nathan Johnson; COL Steve Bond--USA Retired, Military Officers Association of America, MSG Alan Roche—Senior Military Science Instructor; and 2LT Julia Seibold.  MOAACC presented the new Second Lieutenants with Gold Bar Commissioning Sets and membership in MOAA and the chapter. 

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