By Cadet Alfonso Orenday, New Mexico State University ROTCFebruary 23, 2016
LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- (Feb. 23, 2016) The commanding general for the Mission and Installation Contracting Command was inducted into the New Mexico State University Army ROTC Alumni Honor Company during a recognition dinner here Feb. 5.
Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert along with two others made up the distinguished alumni as part of the Honor Company Class of 2016 during the ROTC chapter's 13th Annual Recognition Weekend. Gabbert was commissioned as a Quartermaster Officer in 1986 from the ROTC program at New Mexico State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management.
"It's truly an honor to be a member of the Honor Company," Gabbert said. "My father gave me two options following high school: the Army or college. Choosing New Mexico State University and then electing to join the Bataan Battalion were critical in establishing the right foundation for my career. I cannot think of anything that I would rather do than serve as a Soldier in the world's best Army."
Maj. Wes Childs, a senior assistant professor of military science with NMSU Army ROTC, said the New Mexico State University Army ROTC program has always had a great deal of support from the university, the community and its fellow alumni.
This year, the NMSU ROTC Alumni Association invited the cadets of the Bataan Battalion to be a part of its annual alumni dinner and honor company induction. Prior to the induction, Gabbert took time to sit down and share a few words of wisdom with this semester's commissioning cadets. After speaking, the MICC commanding general gave the soon-to-be second lieutenants an opportunity to ask questions on any topic they desired.
The Bataan Battalion cadets were most interested in the general's career, his life choices and any advice he could offer to future second lieutenants. They were able to relate to Gabbert as a former New Mexico State University Aggie and were inspired and motivated through his humbleness and eagerness to share his advice, Childs said.
"It's inspiring to see how far one person can go in their career as long as they are determined and work hard. It's even more inspiring when it's a former student and alumni at your university," Cadet Gulee Kwon, the cadet battalion commander, said. "I am excited to see how far I can take my career as an Army officer."
Throughout the evening's recognition event, cadets continued to speak with many of the alumni and their guests. Each of the guest speakers, who included Gabbert, the NMSU president, president of the alumni association, NMSU Army ROTC professor of military science and honor company inductees, offered their own advice to the cadets.
At the end of the event, the alumni association revealed that it would be purchasing each commissioning cadet a set of the Army service uniform upon graduation as a demonstration of the support enjoyed by the New Mexico State University Army ROTC program.
Founded in 1888 as Las Cruces College, New Mexico State University today has more than 15,000 students enrolled across five campuses throughout the state and at satellite sites. The research land-grant university offers students a choice in almost 100 undergraduate, more than 55 graduate and 27 doctoral degrees.