Guam – The University of Guam’s Army Senior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (SROTC) Triton Warrior Battalion recently held its Change of Command / Change of Responsibility Ceremony at the UOG Field House on September 28.
Aside from various presentations of achievement and scholarship awards, the ceremony also featured the commissioning of TJ Atalig, a native of the island of Rota.
The ceremony commemorated the handing of command from outgoing Cadet Battalion Commander (C/LTC) Louie Flores of Yigo over to incoming (C/LTC) Ronnel Baris, also of Yigo. It also highlighted the exchange of responsibility from outgoing Cadet Command Sergeant Major (C/CSM) Peter Sakisat of Tinian to incoming C/CSM Lloyd Abigania of Saipan.
“It is a great honor to serve as the cadet battalion commander,” said Baris. “I look forward to working closely with the cadre and the other senior cadets in continuing and maintaining the program’s efforts to develop leaders in the U.S. Army.”
Cadet Baris is also currently a member of the Guam Army National Guard’s Delta Company1-294th Infantry Regiment. He has served in two deployments overseas to Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. Cadet Baris is the eldest son of Robert and Antonette Baris of Yigo, Guam.
“The rest of the cadre and I are confident that Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Baris’s leadership skills and experience will bring good things to the Battalion,” said Professor of Military Science Lieutenant Colonel Scott L. Bartley.
[The Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Scott L. Bartley (left), presents 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) TJ Atalig his Commissioning Certificate (center) while surrounded by Atalig’s family]
Army Scholarships and Training Completed
UOG ROTC provides scholarships and training opportunities. Ten Cadets were awarded Army Scholarships totaling over $380,000. In addition, the program awarded seven Major Henry Oficiar Memorial ROTC Scholarships.
This year, UOG ROTC Cadets also travelled throughout the United States and the world to attend specialized training courses:
15 Cadets completed the pinnacle of their training at the Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Cadets Guillot and Perez completed the Leader Training Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Cadet Colitoy completed the three week airborne school where he jumped out of aircraft five times, amongst other things, to earn his coveted jump wings. Cadets Laxamana and Chen completed the ten day Air Assault Course where they rappelled out of helicopters and conducted a 12 mile Ruck March in under three hours carrying a weighted rucksack earning their coveted Air Assault Badge.
Cadets Paracale, Bais, Cabrera, and Demapan completed the Cadet Troop Leader Training, also known as CTLT, in various bases to gain experience by learning from Active Duty Officers.
Cadets Baris, Duenas, Moser, and Abigania, participated in the Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program where they spent over three weeks in Taiwan, the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Rwanda respectively, learning about different cultures.
The commissioning ceremony of TJ Hocog Atalig is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the University, the Island of Guam, and to the ROTC program. This ceremony also honors the support and sacrifices that his family has made throughout his respective college years, towards a military career. Newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenant Atalig has been accessed into the Guam Army National Guard and has been branched infantry. He will attend his BOLC-B course at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Upon completion of this course, he will then return to Guam to serve with the 1st battalion 294th infantry regiment.