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09-23-2008

Clarkson University Army ROTC Swears in 15 New Cadets

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/swearing-in.jpg ]

Fifteen first-year students from the Clarkson University Golden Knight Battalion were sworn in to the United States Army earlier this semester, taking the first step toward becoming ArmyClarkson University Army ROTC Swears in 15 New Cadets officers.

The new students from Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Potsdam were "contracted" under the flag poles on the Clarkson campus at a ceremony in which two of the new cadets were sworn in by their fathers.

The annual tradition known as contracting day began with completing the paperwork required to enter the ROTC program and culminated in a swearing in-ceremony in front of parents, friends and fellow cadets. These 15 students, now referred to as cadets of the Army ROTC Golden Knight Battalion, have made a commitment to serve in the United States Army upon graduation from college.

All of the Army ROTC cadets sworn in are receiving an Army ROTC scholarship. At Clarkson and St. Lawrence this scholarship pays all college costs, along with a monthly living allowance. The cadets will attend ROTC class and participate in training over the next four years as they earn a college degree and a gold bar, which will signify their rank as second lieutenants.

The 15 new members of the Golden Knight Battalion are Clarkson students Russell Austin of Canandaigua, NY, Christopher Coker of Fort Riley, Kan., Matthew Davison of Northfield, Vt., Matthew Edgette of Ballston Spa, N.Y., Michael Fensterer of Lynbrook, N.Y., Patrick Hughes of Penfield, N.Y., Coleman Larlee of Glenmont, N.Y., Christian O'Connor of Delanson, N.Y., David Pecka of Elmira, N.Y., Joshua Risewick of LeRoy, N.Y., and Jennifer Zanghi of Cassadaga, N.Y.; St. Lawrence students Krystal Cummings of Bow, N.H., Timothy Swartz of Cape Vincent, N.Y., and William Snyder of Copenhagen, N.Y.; and SUNY Potsdam student Matthew Wilsey of Rochester, N.Y.

The group this year is joined by a "green-to-gold" prior-enlisted soldier, Cadet Robert Trent of Monahans, Texas, who is attending Clarkson University. Cadet Trent will bring a different perspective to this incoming class, since he was deployed two times overseas and has active duty military experience. His experience brings a unique viewpoint to the first-year class that all cadets will benefit from.

"These cadets are just beginning their journey to become lieutenants in the United States Army," says Lt. Col. John C. Hinrichs, professor of military science. "This first year is usually their toughest."

On top of being away from home and starting college, these 16 men and women will start their training, participating in a class and lab once a week, in addition to their regular class schedule. They will also be required to attend a physical training session three times a week early in the morning.

"This commitment takes good time management skills and a drive that is not present in many young men and women today," says Hinrichs. "It takes a motivated and focused individual to make a commitment to Army ROTC. But in the long run, when it is time for them to graduate, these young men and women will possess the skills and leadership experience to succeed in any environment."

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Fifteen first-year students from Clarkson University's Golden Knight Battalion were sworn in to the United States Army by Lt. Col. John C. Hinrichs (right), professor of military science, earlier this semester, taking the first step toward becoming Army officers. Left to Right: Tim Swartz, Krystal Cummings, Pat Hughes, Matt Wilsey, David Pecka, Jennifer Zanghi, Chris Coker, Chris O'Connor, Matt Davison, and Russell Austin.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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