JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - The University of Texas at San Antonio Reserve Officer Training Corps Roadrunner Battalion held a commissioning ceremony for 24 cadets as they entered the U.S. Army as second lieutenants, at the UTSA main campus, May 13, 2022. In a packed auditorium, Maj. Gen. Dennis LeMaster, commanding general U.S. Army Medical Center of Excellence, had the honor of serving as the guest speaker and administering the oath of the commissioned officer to the graduates.
Himself a graduate cadet from the Washington State University’s ROTC program, LeMaster welcomed the cadets into their Army career by emphasizing the journey awaiting them as newly commissioned officers.
“Welcome to the profession of arms,” said LeMaster. “You are the vanguard, you are the trustworthy sentential forever at your post. The Army is a lifestyle, it is not a job. It is a 24-7 profession, and you are never off stage. You are going to be a platoon leader in charge of roughly 20 to 40 Soldiers, and like you, they are volunteers. Our nation’s young men and women, our Soldiers, will look to you to provide the best possible leadership, and they deserve the best possible leadership, and I am fully confident you will deliver.”
Upon graduating, the newly commissioned lieutenants will attend Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), the entry-level course for students becoming Army commissioned officers. Conducted in two phases, classroom training and field training, BOLC is a progressive model designed to produce U.S. Army officers with leadership skills, small unit tactics and certain branch specific capabilities.
LeMaster offered the cadets a few tips and advice for their BOLC training and transition to their first duty assignment:
• Treat your Soldiers with dignity and respect
• Positive motivation is absolutely magical
• Know that your non-commissioned officers and Soldiers want you to be successful. If they know you have their back, they will have yours
• You will have a platoon sergeant, embrace that relationship, you will learn volumes from that sergeant, things they don’t teach you in the classroom or the books
In his closing, LeMaster reminded the cadets to have fun. “The Army is a grand adventure. If you are not having fun, no one in your platoon will either. Today is your day, your stars are ascending, and we are all tremendously proud of you. You are part of a team that brings out the very best of us, the United States Army.”
Upon closing his remarks, LeMaster administered the time-honored oath of the commissioned officer to the 24 officers. Afterwards each Soldier was pinned with their new gold second lieutenant bars by family and friends.
As they accepted their diploma, LeMaster had the distinction of presenting each lieutenant with a MEDCoE coin, their first as Army officers.
The battalion operates from UTSA and serves as the host school for Northwest Vista College, San Antonio College, Palo Alto Community College, Wayland Baptist University, and Texas A&M University at San Antonio.
The Roadrunner Battalion dates to 1979, when it was initially part of Saint Mary’s University Army ROTC. In 1982, it became a separate program. To date the UTSA ROTC program has graduated over 870 students reflecting a long history of exceptional leadership.
The U.S. Army Cadet Command partners with universities to recruit, educate, develop, and inspire senior ROTC Cadets in order to commission. The Army ROTC program offers college students the opportunity to go to college and train to become an Army officer at the same time, in exchange for paid tuition.
To learn more about the UTSA ROTC program visit https://future.utsa.edu/explore/rotc/ and for more information on Army ROTC visit https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/find-your-path/army-officers/rotc.html