SAN GERMAN, PR- Seventeen college students from several universities in western Puerto Rico, became Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army, after receiving their college degree, as part of the Reserve Officers Training Course, during a ceremony conducted at the San German Interamerican University, June 16.

During the event, Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz, senior federal U.S. Army officer in the Caribbean and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, administered the Oath of Office to the cadets.

"As leaders of your Soldiers, you will be in charge of the sons and daughters of our nation. You will be responsible of providing purpose, motivation and direction to our Soldiers, in order to accomplish the mission," said Shultz, during her speech in front of friends and family members.

Shultz also highlighted how the service of these young men and women in uniform, represents a clear hope for a better future for Puerto Rico, since members of the Army are generally better educated, and better trained than any team in history.

"It does not matter the bad news that we may receive every day, the optimism of you, young ROTC cadets, is a clear indication that there is hope for our beautiful island," said Shultz.

The new U.S. Army Lieutenants are now members of a long and proud tradition of military service from many generations of U.S. citizens from Puerto Rico, who have served in uniform since World War One.

"I encourage you to always do your best, as you honor with your service the thousands of Puerto Ricans who have served in the past, with many obstacles, but always moving forward," added Shultz.

Finally, Shultz recognized the important role of the families.

"You must feel proud of your work as a family and of how you have shaped the character of these young men and women, who have decided to serve others through the U.S. Army," said Shultz.

As Second Lieutenants, the new officers will now be in charge of platoon size elements, which generally consists of approximately 40 Soldiers.

Out of the group, twelve Lieutenants will join the Active Duty service, three will join the U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico and two will join the National Guard.

The new lieutenants received their bachelor's degrees from several universities, such as the Interamerican University, the University of Puerto Rico, the Antillean College and the Metropolitan University.