COLUMBUS, Ga. (May 22, 2018) - The Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, held a commissioning ceremony May 18 at the university, during which five cadets became officers in the U.S. Army.

Second Lts. William Akoo, Ashley Barnett, Timothy Brown, Savannah Miller and Allen Ransom all received commissions to the U.S. Army during the ceremony at University Hall Auditorium.

On the occasion of their commissioning, Brig. Gen. Christopher T. Donahue, the former U.S. Army Infantry School commandant, administered the oath of office and spoke on the qualities of great leadership.

"Always maintain your credibility," said Donahue. "Your integrity, ability to build and strengthen relationships and teams, and performance are the foundation of your credibility as a leader. And that will be what people will truly remember."

Donahue also recommended the new officers be transparent in their decision-making, that they dedicate themselves to self-improvement, that they read history and current events, that they should expect to fail and evolve through that adversity, that they never tolerate bullying, that they stay physically fit and mentally tough, and more.

"You are about to start a great adventure," Donahue said. "You will be a member of a team of skilled professionals in service of the nation and defenders of our constitution and way of life. You will travel around the globe, learn new cultures, (and learn) new highs and lows. You will cry and laugh. You will be serving in the noblest profession on Earth. You have the respect and support of the American people, and we all look forward to seeing all the great things you are going to accomplish."

Lt. Col. Carlos Lock, department chair for the CSU ROTC and professor of military science, also delivered remarks during the ceremony. He stressed what he called "the six platinum Ps" of purpose, priorities, planning, pressure, performance or potential, and professionalism. Of the last P of professionalism, he had this to say:

"It requires constant communication, integrity, leaving the place better than you found it, having two of everything and a love of reading."

After Donahue administered the oath of office, Family members pinned the rank insignia onto their Soldier's shoulders, and they received their first salutes from service members and retired service members who are important in their lives.

Barnett, whose sisters and mother pinned the rank insignia on her, said the experience was amazing. She is the first generation of her Family to earn a college degree, which she majored in sociology, and is the first in her Family to be in the Army. She has served four years as an enlisted Soldier, and sees the Army as a lifelong profession.

"This is a huge accomplishment to become an officer," said Barnett. "I'm probably going to be a 'lifer.' The Army has a million opportunities, and I'm going to do what I find interesting.

To see photos from the commissioning ceremony, visit "PHOTO ALBUM" in the "Related Links" section on this page.