By Patrick BrayMay 17, 2016
BERKELEY, Calif. - The commandant of the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, Col. Phillip J. Deppert, was the guest speaker at an Army ROTC commissioning ceremony for recent graduates at the University of California, Berkeley, May 14.
The ROTC battalion at Berkeley also commissioned cadets studying at California State University, East Bay, in Hayward, California.
"No ceremony is more symbolic and memorable than a commissioning ceremony in the start of an officer's career," said Deppert, beginning his remarks.
"You are about to take your place in an ancient and honorable calling. Serving in the Army isn't just a job, but a profession, more specifically a profession of arms that requires expertise, trust, development and value-based ethics," Deppert continued.
Nine ROTC cadets commissioned as second lieutenants into the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard who will go on to serve as officers in the armor, military intelligence, air defense artillery, field artillery, infantry and military police corps.
"Although this profession comes with an enormous responsibility, understand that a career of an Army officer is a wonderful experience," said Deppert.
Deppert is an Army ROTC alumnus having commissioned through the program at Ripon College, Wisconsin, in 1990.
"You will learn every day in the Army, but don't forget to have fun. It is about balance," said Deppert. "Even after 26 years, I am still having fun every single day."
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Army ROTC. Since then, more than 600,000 officers have commissioned through ROTC.
Army ROTC started with 35 initial programs in 1916 that included the University of California, Berkeley, said Lt. Col. Stephen Suhr, the professor of military science, in his opening remarks.
"We celebrate 100 years of ROTC by commissioning one of the largest classes in the past 30 years. By the end of this fiscal year we expect to have commissioned 16 new second lieutenants," said Suhr.
Historically, Berkeley has been commissioning U.S. Army officers as far back as 1870. The Army ROTC program today came into being with the passage of the National Defense Act of 1916.
The training and experience gained in ROTC was the foundation for six Chiefs of Staff of the Army, two chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a justice of the Supreme Court, as well as other leaders in government, business, entertainment, science and sports.
DLIFLC provides resident instruction in 23 languages at the Presidio of Monterey, California, with the capacity to instruct another 65 languages in Washington, D.C., graduating more than 200,000 linguists since 1941.
In addition, multiple language training detachments exists at sites in the U.S., Europe, Hawaii and Korea spanning all the U.S. geographic combatant commands, to support the total force.