Class of 2017 recap

commissioning class 2017.jpg

As we finish up with this year’s commissioning season I thought it might be valuable to recap what we produced with the MS 17 cohort.  Our mission for this class was 15.  We met our mission…no more, no less.  We were helped in this year group by three Cadets who migrated, or didn’t graduate on time.  All three of them were SMP Cadet, serving in the National Guard or Army Reserves, and all three of them continued to serve in the Guard/Reserves.  Of the 12 Cadets who did graduate on time this Spring –

  • 11 earned their degree at Clarkson and one at St Lawrence
  • 6 will serve on Active Duty, and 6 will serve in the Guard or Reserves
  • The Active Duty Cadets were branched into Ordnance (2), Infantry, Field Artillery, Corps of Engineers, and Aviation.
  • 4 of the 12 Graduates were varsity athletes at some point in their college career.
  • 9 of the 12 graduates were in STEM majors, 7 of them earning Engineering degree

Approximately 40 students were enrolled in this year group at one time or another.  Some tried it for a semester or two and decided it wasn’t for them. Some were asked to leave the program for one reason or another.

What are  the takeaways from this roll up? Each graduating class is different. At Clarkson we are known for producing lots of STEM Cadets.  We also work well with the athletic department. Most years we have a good male to female ratio. Most of our Cadets get their component of choice and most get one of their top choices for branch.  About half our Cadets chose to serve part time when they graduated this year.

As is the case every year…the graduates of the Golden Knight Battalion are well trained, well educated, well prepared and ready to do great things.  Good luck to all of them!

 

The Commissioning Ceremony

This year was a special year for commissioning ceremonies here in the North Country. Actually, every year is special, but the number of family members that played a special role, the number of departed cadets and cadre that returned, and the sheer number of cadets commissioned all made this year memorable. Here are just a couple of the highlights for me.

William Snyder

Bill Snyder receives his bars from a couple Marines
A little over four years ago I journeyed down to Lowville to give one of my four year scholarship winners his PT test. We set up a time to meet at the Lewis County Fairgrounds in Lowville, which had a track adequate for the 2 mile run. I arrived and met Bill’s father, a retired Marine Corps Major, and his younger brother, Joe, who was an athlete and in my eyes, a prospect. Flash forward to commissioning day and Bill’s father administering the oath, Bill’s father and his brother putting on his bars, and then Bill receiving his silver dollar salute from his brother who is now an enlisted Marine.

Green to Gold at Potsdam

LT Garza receives his bar from his daughter
The Kiser family putting the bars on Dad
LT Sauders receivs his bars

At Potsdam this year we saw the fruits of our Fort Drum Green to Gold office’s labor. Four Green to Gold Cadets and one Cadet who was a Green to Gold prospect finished their studies and commissioned. All four of the Green to Gold Cadets had children who helped pin their bars on. All the Commissioning Cadets at the ceremony had someone special swear them in, and Col Peterson was a terrific guest speaker, who swore Cadet Vasquez in, just as he did two years previously, when he reenlisted into the ROTC program.

DMG

This year we had five Distinguished Military Graduates (DMG). A DMG is defined as:

An ROTC graduate who has maintained a distinguished military student status throughout MSL IV and is in the top 20% of the National Accessions order of merit list (OML).

LTs Austin, Zanghi, Garza, Lambert, and Wilsey received DMG recognition this year. Those in the know (Dilys and Shirley) claim this is the most in recent memory. Of course this was a bigger commissioning class than usual, but our number of DMGs was still an accomplishment.

Dilys silver dollar salutes

A handful of Cadets this year chose to ask Mrs. Dilys Heinssen, our Human Resource Administrator (HRA) to be part of their Silver Dollar Salute. She is a retired Reserve Non-commissioned Officer, and over the years has played an instrumental role in processing all the paperwork involved with their ROTC career from contracting and enrolling to commissioning. It was nice to see her have the honor this year of a handful of first salutes.

Cummings Mother/Swartz Grandmother


As the father of two daughters and someone who has a lot of respect for strong women in the military this year was very special. Among the former Officers who played a role in the festivities at St Lawrence were two female veterans. LT Cummings was sworn in by her mother, Candyce who is a retired Army Major, and LT Swartz had one of his bars placed on his uniform by his grandmother, Mary Mills, who served in World War Two as a captain.

GKB 2012 Clarkson graduates

Here are the Cadets that will take their oath tomorrow and commission into the Army. The following day they will graduate from Clarkson University. A good group of Army Leaders.

Lieutenant Chris Coveleski

Lieutenant Coveleski is commissioned into the Transportation Corps. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Suppy Chain Management with a minor in Law Studies. He will attend the Transportation Officer Basic Course at Fort Eustis, Virginia. He will serve in the New York National Guard with the 42nd Infantry Division Intelligence and Sustainment Company.

Lieutenant Russell Austin

Lieutenant Austin is commissioned into the Infantry. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Infantry Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Campbell, Kentucky with the 101st Airborne Division.

Lieutenant Austin is also a distinguished military graduate signifying his high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Lieutenant Matthew Edgette

Lieutenant Edgette is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will graduate with distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Heidleberg Germany with the 18th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Michael Fensterer

Lieutenant Fensterer is commissioned into the Armor Branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Global Supply Chain Management. He will attend the Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Benning, Georgia. LT Fensterer also leaves Clarkson with a perfect 4-0 record as the goalie for the the Army team in our annual ice hockey game against Air Force.

Lieutenant Timothy Nevin

Lieutenant Nevin is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degrees in Innovation and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Project Management. He will serve at the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Washington this summer prior to attending the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 382nd Engineer Company, Sappers out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Chris O’Connor

Lieutenant O’Connor is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Carson, Colorado with the 4th Engineer Battalion.

Lieutenant David Pecka

Lieutenant Pecka is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. He will serve in the Reserves with the 479th Engineer Battalion out of Fort Drum, New York.

Lieutenant Joshua Risewick

Lieutenant Risewick is commissioned into the Corps of Engineers. He will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He will attend the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His first duty assignment will be at Fort Hood, Texas with the 36th Engineer Brigade.

Lieutenant Jonathon Waterman

Lieutenant Waterman is commissioned into Military Intelligence branch. He will receive a Bachelor of Professional Studies degree. He will attend the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He will serve in the Reserves with the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion in Mattydale, New York.

Lieutenant Jennifer Zanghi

Lieutenant Zanghi is commissioned into the Medical Service Corps. She will graduate with great distinction and receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. She will attend the Medical Services Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas prior to attending flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama in order to train as a medevac pilot.

Lieutenant Zanghi is also recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate signifying her high standing in the class and national order of merit list.

Congratulations to all the Golden Knights…stay tuned for our Commissionees from SUNY Potsdam and St Lawrence who will commission next week.