ROTC cadets Whitney Ptak and Nicholas Miller were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.
Nicholas Miller and Whitney Ptak were commissioned as officers on May 10.
ROTC cadets Whitney Ptak and Nicholas Miller were commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army at a Department of Military Science’s Reserve Officer Training Corps commissioning ceremony May 10 in Steele Hall’s Mainstage Theatre.
Before taking the oath of office and receiving the gold bars signifying their new rank, the cadets and guests heard remarks from University President Geraldine M. Jones.
“Whitney and Nicholas, please know that we are impressed with all you have accomplished, thrilled to see you earn your commission, and prayerful that when your service is complete, you will find your way safely home,” President Jones said. “You have embraced an important mission: to protect not only the citizens of the United States, but also our friends and allies around the world.
“As you take you oath this afternoon, please remember that we believe in you. We believe in the ideals for which you stand, the foundation on which the country was built. You give us hope, conviction and pride, and we thank you for your brave and selfless service on our behalf.”
Guest speaker was Lt. Col. Jason Eddy, Three Rivers Battalion Commander and chair of the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Military Science.
Previously he was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Operation Joint Forge and Iraq in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.
“The commissioning ceremony is the culmination of years of study and hard work in both your academic discipline and development as a leader,” Eddy said. “The responsibilities you have embraced far exceed the recognition for the work you’ve done and I thank you for leaving our organization a better place.
“You are embarking on a journey of selfless service and I know I can speak for the American people when I say thank you for the choice to be part of something bigger than yourself. We don’t know what challenges lie ahead but these young officers will lead the charge to solve tomorrows problems.”
Ptak earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology. Commissioned as a field artillery officer, her first duty station will be as a platoon leader with the 110th Infantry Unit, in Mount Pleasant, Pa.
Miller earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland and international security. He is commissioned as an active duty infantry officer.
After getting the gold bars to their uniforms, the new second lieutenants followed the Army tradition of giving a silver dollar to an officer in exchange for his first salute — Sgt. First Class Jesse Maund to Ptak, and Sgt. First Class Richard Vargas to Miller.