University of Guam ROTC cadets will still be commissioned in May

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University of Guam ROTC Cadets Christelyn Lopez, left, and Kortney Camacho participate in Land Navigation Training on March 13 at the university’s experimental research station in Inarajan. They will both be commissioned as U.S. Army officers on May 23. (Photo courtesy of University of Guam)

The commissioning ceremony for the University of Guam’s ROTC cadets will take place as scheduled on May 23. The ceremony could potentially be virtual because of the conditions caused by the pandemic, but the UOG ROTC cadets will not be delayed in receiving the “Gold Bars” of the second lieutenant rank.

“They’ve earned it,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Anderson, professor of military science at the university. “They’ve put in the hard work to develop their character and grow as leaders. The nation and our island need our ROTC cadets out there as officers providing leadership during this critical moment in time.”

In coordination with the university, the ROTC program converted to virtual instruction on March 16, and the seniors are continuing their coursework and requirements to become second lieutenants in the U.S. Army upon graduation.

Cadet Christelyn Lopez, who will complete her graduate degree in public administration and become an officer in May, said that although the pandemic brings many uncertainties, “I find comfort in establishing a habitual routine of physical fitness in the mornings or evenings, and that has kept me grounded and focused on continuing my studies and remembering my goals to becoming an Army officer.”

As part of her ROTC curriculum this semester, Lopez had the opportunity to interview a UOG ROTC alumnus about life as an Army officer.

“It’s really inspired me to stay grounded to my path,” she said.

Cadet Kortney Camacho, cadet battalion commander for UOG ROTC, acknowledged that adjusting to the new online learning environment has not been easy.

“Being adaptable and patient is the key to succeeding this semester and preparing for the future,” Camacho said. “I think the biggest challenge and lesson I could grab from the coronavirus situation is that no matter how hard and definitively you plan, the future isn’t promised.”

UOG’s ROTC program was established in October 1979 and is celebrating 40 years of producing dynamic leaders for Guam, the Pacific, and the United States of America.