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Speech for My Commissioning Ceremony as a New 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army

By Edited Sep 29, 2016 0 0

Just about everyone in attendance here today is deserving of my thanks and recognition for the role you played, however large or small, in helping me to achieve this goal. Whether you are a friend, family member, nursing professor, or fellow soldier, I cannot thank you enough for attending this ceremony today. It means very much to me and is reflective of the same support that many of you have shown throughout other significant experiences in my life.

Today is September 4th, 2009. Unlike the many intentionally short-winded speeches that you may have become accustomed to sitting through during your military and academic careers, rest assured, this speech will be lengthy, exhaustive in content, and jam-packed with fluffy over-used adjectives like "dedicated" "motivated", "proud", and "inspired". Although completely unnecessary in such excess, without the use of such words, this speech wouldn't even come remotely close to paralleling the great masterpieces of many politicians, and generals, who have come before. Just like my countless A+ papers written over my 7-year academic career, I've found that the more money you are willing to pay the nerd on the other end of cyberspace, the higher quality product you are typically bound to receive, the night before a major paper (or speech) is due. (Just kidding, why would I pay a nerd to write my speech when I could just have my loving Father do it for Free?)

Just think…while we are here, many citizens of the United Kingdom are currently attending their annual chocolate festival, in celebration of my favorite holiday of all time: World Chocolate Day. As if being an official 'World' Holiday weren't great enough of a prestige bestowed, clearly the world powers had their priorities straight when they resolved to conquer pressing issues like world poverty and global warming over a box of milk-duds and a bottomless glass saucer of M&Ms strategically placed in the middle of the table for maximum consumption. During this festival, after one pays a small entrance fee, these chocolate-lovers are afforded the opportunity to release all their inhibitions by rolling around in a chocolate pit, trying chocolate massages, and, of course, indulging in a variety of chocolate recipes.

Outside of an occasional, ever-coveted, chocolate "HOOAH Bar", or a bag of Peanuty M&Ms concealed beneath at least three guaranteed constipation-inducing Cheese products at the utter depths of an MRE (Meal-ready-to-eat), I can't say that 'rolling around in a chocolate pit' or 'indulging in chocolate massages' comes anywhere near the training requirements for a cadet, and soon to be commissioned officer in the United States' Army. Instead, the path chosen by a cadet is one adorned with high expectations, stringent standards, and tremendous leadership opportunities and evaluations.

Throughout a Cadet's tenure in ROTC, they are challenged both physically and mentally through a variety of these training events and activities, with LDAC, otherwise known as the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, being the final 28 day capstone trial that all ROTC cadets must endure. These stringent standards become known early on in a Cadet's academic progression, and are carried with them throughout ROTC, on into their respective military careers.

While on campus, they arise early in the morning to the sound of fast-paced military cadence as they engage in their strenuous physical training program. With exception to Nursing Students, of course, long before their fellow students have stumbled their way out of bed, into class, clothed only in a soiled t-shirt, with disheveled hair, and pajama pants complemented by flip-flops and knee-high tube socks, these cadets are completely saturated in sweat and have already mentally prepared themselves to meet all the challenges of their day.

With the understanding that the lives of many soldiers will one-day rest entirely in their hands, this rigorous training is accepted with upmost honor, and willful participation. Although camaraderie is certainly palpable, and encouraged, the non-negotiable seriousness at the heart of this training has later been documented as effectively preparing future leaders for the trials and challenges of an ever-changing modern-day battlefield.

While, today, I accept this Commission, there are several cadets sitting amongst you who, although not officially commissioned just yet, have dedicated themselves to this life of leadership and selfless service. Not only have I gotten to know many of these cadets as personal friends, in real-life and on Facebook, but, their character embodies the very best of what America has to offer. Regardless of their intent, they have committed themselves to a life that, while necessary, very few are either willing, or able, to do. While they represent a small fraction of 1% of our U.S. Population, that percentage does become increasingly larger when one considers the many who have worked behind the scenes, showing their support in a variety of purposeful, yet oftentimes thankless ways.

These cadets will need this support, and they will cherish it, in much the same way that most of you have done for me. Whether you are a professor, a friend, or a family member, I would like to personally thank you all for showing even further support for me by attending this commissioning ceremony. Many of you have driven long distances to get here, and, for that, I'm very grateful. I have known many of you long before I first entered the service almost immediately following 9/11. Your cards of support, and care packages, left an impression on me even while I was deployed to Afghanistan, and throughout every challenging event of my military, and academic, career, thus far.

Although this commissioning ceremony isn't quite a televised extravaganza like the Academy Awards, I am inspired to conclude this speech with several thoughtful recognitions of specific people, just like how the celebrities do their acceptance speeches. With their awards valiantly thrusted overhead, regardless of how many expletives their award-winning songs contained, you can rest assured that the rappers in attendance will never forget to thank 2 of the most important people in their lives: God and their Mama'. While one isn't so much a 'person' as much as he is a Supreme Ultimate Being, both could successfully conjure up a rather extensive list of items that are worthy of my thanks.

With that said, 'hey, mom, I may need to borrow $20.00 after this ceremony….'.

Next, I would like to thank my Grandpa Stump and Romans, not only for both their profound influence on my life, but for also their service to our country. While both served in different wars, WWII and the Korean War respectively, they both embodied selfless service, for both country and family. As the staggering blows of newly sharpened machete blades penetrated deep to the core of a French haystack, while he spent days in hiding while advancing with the 101st Airborne Corps in WWII, at such a young age, my Granpa Romans would speak little of these events when he returned home. Unlike myself who declared his return from Afghanistan to the entire world, my grandfather …..

At my Grandpa Romans' side, until his passing, was my Grandma Romans, who is attendance today. With her resolute spirit, I'm anticipating that she will be giving a speech at my funeral, in accordance with the longstanding family joke that she is destined to outlive each one of us. With minor arthritis, and occasional back pain, she assumed the position of my caregiver as early morning 45-minute commutes to East Stroudsburg, for PT or my nursing clinical rotation, produced an insane amount of dirty laundry that needed to be done. This is a role that she appears to be more than happy to immediately relinquish to my fiancé Julie Detwiler.

Between the rigorous demands of ROTC training, and nursing, it certainly was refreshing to know that I had both ends of the laundry upkeep continuum covered: with a Grandma who was willing to do it while I was at home, and a fiancé who was willing to do it while I was up at East Stroudsburg University. I cannot thank either one of them enough for affording me such an awesome opportunity to practice my delegation skills.

 

Just about everyone in attendance here today is deserving of my thanks and recognition for the role you played, however large or small, in helping me to achieve this goal. Whether you are a friend, family member, nursing professor, or fellow soldier, I cannot thank you enough for attending this ceremony today. It means very much to me and is reflective of the same support that many of you have shown throughout other significant experiences in my life.

Today is September 4th, 2009. Unlike the many intentionally short-winded speeches that you may have become accustomed to sitting through during your military and academic careers, rest assured, this speech will be lengthy, exhaustive in content, and jam-packed with fluffy over-used adjectives like "dedicated" "motivated", "proud", and "inspired". Although completely unnecessary in such excess, without the use of such words, this speech wouldn't even come remotely close to paralleling the great masterpieces of many politicians, and generals, who have come before. Just like my countless A+ papers written over my 7-year academic career, I've found that the more money you are willing to pay the nerd on the other end of cyberspace, the higher quality product you are typically bound to receive, the night before a major paper (or speech) is due. (Just kidding, why would I pay a nerd to write my speech when I could just have my loving Father do it for Free?)

Just think…while we are here, many citizens of the United Kingdom are currently attending their annual chocolate festival, in celebration of my favorite holiday of all time: World Chocolate Day. As if being an official 'World' Holiday weren't great enough of a prestige bestowed, clearly the world powers had their priorities straight when they resolved to conquer pressing issues like world poverty and global warming over a box of milk-duds and a bottomless glass saucer of M&Ms strategically placed in the middle of the table for maximum consumption. During this festival, after one pays a small entrance fee, these chocolate-lovers are afforded the opportunity to release all their inhibitions by rolling around in a chocolate pit, trying chocolate massages, and, of course, indulging in a variety of chocolate recipes.

Outside of an occasional, ever-coveted, chocolate "HOOAH Bar", or a bag of Peanuty M&Ms concealed beneath at least three guaranteed constipation-inducing Cheese products at the utter depths of an MRE (Meal-ready-to-eat), I can't say that 'rolling around in a chocolate pit' or 'indulging in chocolate massages' comes anywhere near the training requirements for a cadet, and soon to be commissioned officer in the United States' Army. Instead, the path chosen by a cadet is one adorned with high expectations, stringent standards, and tremendous leadership opportunities and evaluations.

Throughout a Cadet's tenure in ROTC, they are challenged both physically and mentally through a variety of these training events and activities, with LDAC, otherwise known as the Leadership Development and Assessment Course, being the final 28 day capstone trial that all ROTC cadets must endure. These stringent standards become known early on in a Cadet's academic progression, and are carried with them throughout ROTC, on into their respective military careers.

While on campus, they arise early in the morning to the sound of fast-paced military cadence as they engage in their strenuous physical training program. With exception to Nursing Students, of course, long before their fellow students have stumbled their way out of bed, into class, clothed only in a soiled t-shirt, with disheveled hair, and pajama pants complemented by flip-flops and knee-high tube socks, these cadets are completely saturated in sweat and have already mentally prepared themselves to meet all the challenges of their day.

With the understanding that the lives of many soldiers will one-day rest entirely in their hands, this rigorous training is accepted with upmost honor, and willful participation. Although camaraderie is certainly palpable, and encouraged, the non-negotiable seriousness at the heart of this training has later been documented as effectively preparing future leaders for the trials and challenges of an ever-changing modern-day battlefield.

While, today, I accept this Commission, there are several cadets sitting amongst you who, although not officially commissioned just yet, have dedicated themselves to this life of leadership and selfless service. Not only have I gotten to know many of these cadets as personal friends, in real-life and on Facebook, but, their character embodies the very best of what America has to offer. Regardless of their intent, they have committed themselves to a life that, while necessary, very few are either willing, or able, to do. While they represent a small fraction of 1% of our U.S. Population, that percentage does become increasingly larger when one considers the many who have worked behind the scenes, showing their support in a variety of purposeful, yet oftentimes thankless ways.

These cadets will need this support, and they will cherish it, in much the same way that most of you have done for me. Whether you are a professor, a friend, or a family member, I would like to personally thank you all for showing even further support for me by attending this commissioning ceremony. Many of you have driven long distances to get here, and, for that, I'm very grateful. I have known many of you long before I first entered the service almost immediately following 9/11. Your cards of support, and care packages, left an impression on me even while I was deployed to Afghanistan, and throughout every challenging event of my military, and academic, career, thus far.

Although this commissioning ceremony isn't quite a televised extravaganza like the Academy Awards, I am inspired to conclude this speech with several thoughtful recognitions of specific people, just like how the celebrities do their acceptance speeches. With their awards valiantly thrusted overhead, regardless of how many expletives their award-winning songs contained, you can rest assured that the rappers in attendance will never forget to thank 2 of the most important people in their lives: God and their Mama'. While one isn't so much a 'person' as much as he is a Supreme Ultimate Being, both could successfully conjure up a rather extensive list of items that are worthy of my thanks.

With that said, 'hey, mom, I may need to borrow $20.00 after this ceremony….'.

Next, I would like to thank my Grandpa Stump and Romans, not only for both their profound influence on my life, but for also their service to our country. While both served in different wars, WWII and the Korean War respectively, they both embodied selfless service, for both country and family. As the staggering blows of newly sharpened machete blades penetrated deep to the core of a French haystack, while he spent days in hiding while advancing with the 101st Airborne Corps in WWII, at such a young age, my Granpa Romans would speak little of these events when he returned home. Unlike myself who declared his return from Afghanistan to the entire world, my grandfather …..

At my Grandpa Romans' side, until his passing, was my Grandma Romans, who is attendance today. With her resolute spirit, I'm anticipating that she will be giving a speech at my funeral, in accordance with the longstanding family joke that she is destined to outlive each one of us. With minor arthritis, and occasional back pain, she assumed the position of my caregiver as early morning 45-minute commutes to East Stroudsburg, for PT or my nursing clinical rotation, produced an insane amount of dirty laundry that needed to be done. This is a role that she appears to be more than happy to immediately relinquish to my fiancé Julie Detwiler.

Between the rigorous demands of ROTC training, and nursing, it certainly was refreshing to know that I had both ends of the laundry upkeep continuum covered: with a Grandma who was willing to do it while I was at home, and a fiancé who was willing to do it while I was up at East Stroudsburg University. I cannot thank either one of them enough for affording me such an awesome opportunity to practice my delegation skills.

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