Big Red One general welcomes new officers
May 22, 2009
MANHATTAN, Kan. - At a time when the United States is engaged in wars in two countries across the globe, some Americans continue to volunteer for service in their nation's armed forces.
Sixteen such individuals were welcomed as the Army's newest second lieutenants in a commissioning ceremony at Kansas State University's alumni center May 15.
With the new class, KSU graduated 25 officers in the 2008-2009 academic year, eight more than required.
Maj. Gen. Vincent Brooks, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley served as the keynote speaker at the ceremony, and commended the graduates on their decision to serve.
"It is your hard work and your determination that has brought you to this point," Brooks said. "You chose an extra load, a load that required your extra determination in order to succeed."
Lt. Col. George Belin, commander of the KSU "Wildcat" ROTC Battalion, said while times have changed since when he was commissioned, the new officers' dedication to their country has not.
"You all are just as committed to our nation as any generation before you," Belin said.
Brooks, just before the ceremony to pin the rank of second lieutenant on the graduates, laid out what will be expected of them.
"We're counting on you as leaders beginning today, leaders who will set the example," he said. "This accepting of gold bars means you are accepting leadership."