By: DeJanay Booth
Photo By: Josh Newell
Forty ROTC Cadets in Regiments 3 and 4 were commissioned as Army officers and 900 others graduated from the Leader Development and Assessment Course to become future officers on July 10 in Fort Knox, Ky.
Cadet Brett Coffey, a graduate of University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, turned toward his father, Master Sgt. Jack Coffey. Slowly raising his right hand to his forehead, Coffey received his first salute from his father after his new insignia was pinned on.
“I loved having my family here. It’s been a long road,” Coffey said. Taking the oath was nerve-racking, he said, but thinking about what the future holds gave him much comfort.
Master Sgt. Coffey said giving the first salute to his son “was breathtaking.”
Coffey and 39 other cadets raised their right hand, reciting the oath of commissioning.
“I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same,” they said in unison. “That I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”
They took oath in front of Brig. Gen. Peggy Combs, the Commanding General of Army Cadet Command, as well as friends and family.
Applause and cheers filled the Waybur Theater as the new second lieutenants. stood from their seats to be recognized at the end of the ceremony.
Hayden Chamberlain, graduate of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, said, “It hasn’t quite hit me yet. I still feel like a cadet.”
Terry Kossbiel, from Abilene, Texas, sat in the audience as he watched his daughter-in-law, Marcella Kossbiel, become commissioned officer. Seeing the ceremony brought back the memory of his son, 1st Lt. Michael Kossbiel, when he took the same oath.
Meanwhile, at the LDAC graduation, family surrounded Brooks Field as they watched their loved ones approach in formation to “The National Emblem March.” Two canons fired for the three Pillars of Service: Duty, Honor and Country.
The Cadets on the field were not commissioning, but finished the training so they can be commissioned after their final year in college.
Kara Trowbridge, from Fort Wayne, Ind., said coming to the graduation and seeing what the cadets do has been interesting. Trowbridge’s boyfriend, Cadet Jeremiah Burdick, is a student at Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne and graduated with the fourth regiment.
“We’re very proud of him,” Trowbridge said. “It’s been hard, missing him at home. It’s been neat seeing him on the journey and finally getting to reach one of his goals.”
Cadet Jane Fox, a senior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, said she loved the graduation and enjoyed working with the cadre.
“Thank you to the cadre who really made it what it was,” Fox said. “They just kept us going and kept us motivated. They were always helpful with information.”
Cadets left with their family after the ceremonies, moving forward with the skills and experiences they learned at LDAC that they will be using in the Army in the years ahead.