MTSU Military Commissioning Ceremony Went Well - See Pictures

On the eve of their graduation from Middle Tennessee State University, seven student-cadets were commissioned Friday (Dec. 13) as second lieutenants in two branches of the military.

The cadets later graduated on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Six were commissioned into the U.S. Army; the seventh cadet was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force.

They newly commissioned officers include:

• Elizabeth Dang of Columbia, Tenn., who will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from the College of Liberal Arts. She was accessed reserve forces duty, Field Artillery Branch with the Tennessee National Guard;

• Kenneth Davie of Clarksville, Tenn., who will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. He was accessed active duty in the Chemical Branch. He will attend the Basic Officer Leader course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., beginning Feb. 23, 2014;

• Jenine Fajardo of Thompson’s Station, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. She was accessed active duty in the Army Nurse Branch. She will attend the Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, upon successful completion of the National Council Licensure Examination for nurses;

• William Kemp of Columbia, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing from the Jennings A. Jones College of Business. He was accessed active duty in the Ordnance Branch. He will attend the Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, Va., beginning Jan. 26;

• Hannah Pearson of Fort Bragg, N.C., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the School of Nursing in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. She was accessed active duty in the Army Nurse Branch. She will attend the Basic Officer Leader Class at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, upon the successful completion of the national nursing exam;

• Patrick Simpson of Clarksville, Tenn., who is graduating with bachelor of business administration degree in business administration from the Jones College of Business. He was accessed reserve forces duty with the Adjutant General Branch of the Tennessee Army National Guard; and

• Mychal Weekes of Old Hickory, Tenn., who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the College of Basic and Applied Sciences. He was accessed active duty with the U.S. Air Force in the pilot select program. He will be assigned to Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Weekes was presented a certificate and recognized as an ROTC Distinguished Graduate.

ABOVE PHOTO: Mychal Weekes, far left, Patrick Simpson, Hannah Pearson, William Kemp, Jenine Fajardo, Kenneth Davie and Elizabeth Dang were commissioned as second lieutenants during the fall 2013 military science commissioning ceremony Friday (Dec. 13) in Tucker Theater. Weekes was commissioned into the U.S. Air Force; the others were commissioned into the U.S. Army. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

ABOVE PHOTO: Grandmother Paulette Baras, left, and mother Catherine Dang, right, rejoice with MTSU senior Elizabeth Dang of Columbia, Tenn., after she was pinned with second lieutenant bars on her uniform Dec. 13 as part of the military science fall commissioning ceremony in Keathley University Center Theater. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

U.S. Army Col. Richard “Rich” Juergens of Fort Bragg spoke just before the swearing in and pinning of the new commissionees. It marks his second commissioning ceremony speaking appearance at MTSU in the past two years. He spoke Dec. 16, 2011, in a ceremony where his oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was commissioned.

Juergens and his wife, Diana, have raised eight daughters, including Hannah Pearson, one of the senior cadets commissioned Friday. The colonel offered plenty of advice.

“You won’t believe the impact you’re going to have,” he said. “Know what you can do and be the best you can be.” Earlier in his talk, he told them “nothing is more important than your integrity” and “how you treat people is very important.”

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