NCO Leadership Center of Excellence Hosts Commissioning Fair

By Andrew SmithMay 16, 2024

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The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence (NCOLCoE) hosted a Comminssioning Fair in association with the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). This was the fifth year that NCOLCoE hosting the fair on Fort Bliss.

On May 16 members of the UTEPs Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program hosted an event for Soldiers on Fort Bliss who are considering pursuing a commission or a higher education.

While attending the fair, Soldiers could attend a presentation giving them information about Green to Gold commissioning programs and scholarships to assist them in their pursuits. They could also speak to representatives from various education departments and some of the current Army ROTC cadets taking classes to better understand the programs available and the expectations attached to each program.

One of the events hosts was Simon Hernandez. Hernandez works at UTEP as a recruiting operations officer for the university’s ROTC program. He said the current class attending UTEP has six Soldiers who will commission this year, five of which served on Fort Bliss before attending classes at UTEP.

“If it is something you want to do, look at all the options that are out there and we have people right here to help and answer questions,” said Hernandez about the information presented at the fair.  “Don’t give up. The options are lengthy but patience can payoff.” Hernandez previously served as an enlisted Soldier in the Army.

Dozens of Soldiers attended to get information about available programs and speak to cadets who are currently enrolled at UTEP.

One of the current cadets Patrick Burcaw explained why he made the choice to shift from being an enlisted Soldier to becoming a second lieutenant through their Green to Gold program. “People would ask what I wanted to do in the Army, and I realized I wanted to make life better for Soldiers and I think the best way to do that is through policy as an officer.”

Burcaw is currently attending his first year of classes at UTEP and is expected to graduate and commission in 2027.

The NCOLCoE has hosted commissioning fairs and the Army Combat Fitness Test in partnership with the UTEP ROTC program in the past to promote future Army leadership and to lay the groundwork for the important relationship between officers and enlisted Soldiers.

For more information the UTEP ROTC program can be contacted at:

Or by phone at (915) 747-6521