FORT KNOX, Ky. – Families, friends and mentors traveled near and far to show their support as 1st Regiment end-of-camp commissionees became 2nd lieutenants during the Commissioning Ceremony at Waybur Theater June 29.
“While here at Cadet Leaders Course, these warriors stayed mission-focused despite being hot, tired and hungry, demonstrating the grit necessary to lead our nation’s Soldiers in any operational environment. They’re exactly the leaders of character we need in our Army,” said guest speaker Col. Dan Kelley, commander of 1st Brigade, U.S. Army Cadet Command.
Kelley’s remarks were followed by the recitation of the oath of office.
Families and friends then unveiled the new officers’ gold bars which signify the 2nd lieutenant rank and a new adventure ahead.
The presentation of commission certificates was followed by the new officers receiving their first salutes.
2nd Lt. Wesley Henderson, University of Virginia, said his time in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Cadet Summer Training (CST) refined his leadership skills to prepare him for his next endeavor as a military policeman in the National Guard.
“It’s been a long four years. Overall, it was a good environment that I was placed in, and I learned a lot about leading. I’m ready to see what the future holds,” Henderson said.
His mother, Lavina Henderson, said she was happy for her son.
“He’s worked hard. He’s done a lot, and I’m just really proud of him,” Lavina Henderson said.
Wesley Henderson is carrying on the military tradition in his family according to his father, retired Army Spc. Jeff Henderson.
“He’ll be in a family of four generations military,” Jeff Henderson continued, “My brother was a sergeant, my dad served 30 years and my grandfather was U.S. Navy.”
According to Kelley, the desire to serve in the military “is not innate.”
“It is nurtured and for you who have chosen to stand among the less than one percent who serve in the military, this desire was cultivated in you by many, but the most important people: your parents and your families,” Kelley said.