MADISON, Wis. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit to commission four midshipmen and one Air Force cadet in the Senate chamber of the Wisconsin State Capitol, Dec. 20.
As the commissioning officer, Sands administered the Oath of Office to the midshipmen and cadet in front of several family members and close friends. Rear Adm. Sands emphasized to the newly-commissioned officers, "We exist based on the trust society extends to us.” He went on to say, "Everything you do now, you wear the cloth of the nation. Everything you say represents not just you – it represents all of us. It represents this profession; so guard it. Care for it. Build the trust we establish for society, maintain that trust, and do us proud."
After the oath, the newly-commissioned officers had their ranks affixed by family members and then received their first salute. This is rendered by an enlisted service member of the new officer’s choosing. This courtesy signifies their transition from a midshipman in training to an officer. This tradition stems from the U.S. Army dating back early in the 19th century.
Recently-commissioned Ensign Robert Muether exclaimed, "I feel great, really great! It is an immense relief to be done. Growing up in Wisconsin, it is very special to be part of this university and to commission in this beautiful state capitol."
The State Capitol has ties to significant naval history. In an office next to the Senate chamber, there is a portrait of Fleet Adm. William Leahy, who served in the Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, World Wars I and II, and later served as the ambassador to France and chief of staff to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Fleet Admiral is the highest rank in the Navy, used only during times of conflict. Capt. Gregory Zarcharski, commanding officer of UW-Madison Naval ROTC, mentioned how appropriate it is to sign the newly-commissioned officers' oath of office under Adm. Leahy's portrait, since he had such close ties to Wisconsin. These newly-appointed officers will become part of the legacy represented by Leahy and the long line of officers who have commissioned from the University of Madison ROTC units.
The NROTC program is supported by Rear Adm. Jamie Sands and his Naval Service Training Command staff at Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill. NROTC was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally, and physically; and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty, and core values in order to commission college graduates as Navy and Marine Corps officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the uniformed services, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship, and government.
NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC also includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp - also at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy ROTC program at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) Newport, R. I., and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
For more news from Naval Service Training Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/greatlakes/.