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Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Commissions eight new Army Second Lieutenants
The Florida Institute of Technology Army ROTC Panther Battalion held their spring ceremony to commission eight new Army Second Lieutenants on Friday, May 5th. The Commissioning Ceremony was held in the Hartley Room of the Student Union building on campus with 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. Seven of the new officers also met the requirements to graduate from Florida Tech at the May Commencement and one is graduating from Eastern Florida State College. At the Commissioning Ceremony, the new officers heard messages and congratulations from the Interim President of Florida Tech, Robert King, J.D., and the Guest Speaker was Ms. Karen Saunders, The Army’s Program Executive Officer for Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation (PEO STRI), located in Orlando.
The new Army Second Lieutenants are:
- Samuel T. Addington—Samuel is a 2017 graduate of Cocoa Beach High School and earned his B.S. degree at Eastern Florida State College in Applied Health Sciences. He was commissioned as an active-duty Infantry Officer. His former Junior ROTC Senior Instructor and Cape Canaveral chapter member, LTC Jim Desjarden (USA-Ret) administered his commissioning oath.
- Benjamin R. Chandra—Benjamin is a 2018 graduate of Melbourne High School and earned a B.S. degree from Florida Tech in Aerospace Engineering. He was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer in the Florida National Guard.
- Brayan N. Cruz Mejia—Brayan is a 2016 graduate of Heritage High School and earned an associate degree from Florida State College in 2020. He earned his B.S. degree in Aviation Management from Florida Tech. He was commissioned as an active-duty Medical Service Corps Officer.
- David Decosta—David is a 2018 graduate of Melbourne Central High School. He earned his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned as a Transportation Corp Officer in the Florida National Guard.
- Jacob Filer—Jacob is a 2016 graduate of the Seoul American High School. He earned his B.S. degree from Florida Tech in Aeronautical Science and was named Outstanding Senior in the College of Aeronautics and had an internship with NASA. He received his commission as an active-duty Transportation Corps Officer.
- Jake Marzano—Jake graduated from High School in Rhode Island in 2018. He received a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Florida Tech. He was commissioned as an Engineer Officer in the Massachusetts National Guard.
- Mehki A. Tabron—Mehki graduated in 2018 from High School in Maryland and earned a B.S. Degree in Aviation Management from Florida Tech. He was commissioned as an Active-Duty Transportation Corps Officer.
- Ethan A. White—Ethan is a 2019 graduate of Merritt Island High School. He earned a B.A. from Florida Tech in Forensic Psychology and was commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the Florida National Guard.
The new Lieutenants were also congratulated by LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science, and member of the Cape Canaveral chapter. After serving as the Professor of Military Science for four years, LTC Crook is retiring from the Army later this summer. He and his wife Janelle plan on remaining in the area. Colonel Steve Bond, US Army-Retired, Past President of the MOAA Cape Canaveral Chapter, and MOAACC 2nd Vice President CAPT Steve Cusick, US Navy-Retired were also on hand to present the new Lieutenants with “Gold Bar” commissioning sets and membership in MOAA. Steve congratulated the new officers on their achievement wished them the best of luck as they begin their journey as officers in the United States Army.
Photo Caption: New Army Lieutenants and participants at the Florida Tech Commissioning Ceremony on May 5th. From Left—COL Steve Bond, MOAACC; Ms. Karen Saunders, PEO STRI; New 2LTs David Dacosta, Jake Marzano, Mehki Tabron, Jacob Filer, Brayan Cruz Mejia, Ethan White, Benjamin Chandra, and Samuel Addington; Mr. Robert King, J.D., Interim Florida Tech President; and LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science.
CAPT Steve Cusick, USN-Ret and MOAACC 2nd Vice President for Membership at the Florida Tech Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on May 5th. In addition to receiving their commissions, the new Lieutenants are now new members of MOAA and the Cape Canaveral Chapter.
LTC Jimmy Crook (L) and COL Steve Bond (USA-Ret) (R)` at the Florida Tech Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on May 5th. After serving as the Professor of Military Science at Florida Tech for four years, LTC Crook is retiring from the Army later this summer.
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