GMC News

Spring Commissioning Ceremony

Seventeen GMC Junior College cadets received their commissioning into the U.S. Army as second lieutenants on Friday, May 30, 6:00 p.m., in the Goldstein Center for the Performing Arts. They are: Blake M. Bowles (Armor), George W. Bowles (Quartermaster), Frederick I. Brown (Infantry), Matthew V. Cerniglia (Quartermaster), Clay M. Comer (Infantry), Michael C. Flynn, II (Infantry), Bryan D. Forester (Signal), Andrea L. Herman (Adjutant’s General’s Corps), Matthew C. Kiss (Transportation), Ashley L. Meredith (Medical Services Corps), Joseph D. Moure (Infantry), Joshua M Moure (Infantry), Scott S. Naelitz, Jr. (Civil Affairs), Robyn L. Ricard (Medical Services Corps), Marcellus L. Simmons (Transportation), Benjamin R. Taylor (Field Artillery), and James F. Vary, III (Infantry).

The guest speaker was COL Thomas Torrance, a native of Milledgeville and a 1974 graduate of GMC High School. In July 2006, Colonel Torrance was assigned as the 48th Deputy Commandant, United States Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Prior to this assignment, Colonel Torrance served on the Joint Staff in the Directorate for Strategic Plan and Policy (J-5) as Assistant Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for the Middle East and Division Chief of the Middle East Regional Division.

During the commissioning ceremony, the cadets recited the Oath of Office, after which family members pinned on bars denoting their new rank. Finally, the new second lieutenants were saluted for the first time by an enlisted person of their choosing. The hand salute is centuries old and probably originated when men in armor raised their hands to their helmets and lifted the visors so they could be identified. The salute has always been one of the essentials of military courtesy and is considered a symbol of mutual respect and a sign of the camaraderie among service personnel. As a standard practice, the junior initiates the salute, and the senior returns it. In keeping with a time-honored tradition, the newly appointed officers presented a silver dollar to the first enlisted person to salute them after they received their commission.

GMC’s Early Commissioning Program, one of only five such programs in the nation, is a demanding program in which cadets develop the skills necessary to be leaders in the United States Army within a period of two years.