Two Edinboro University Cadets in the Fighting Scots Battalion reached the pinnacle of collegiate military service with official commissioning as U.S. Army officers.
Edinboro University 2018 graduates DeAndre Hunter and Brooke Bennett were both appointed with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant following Friday afternoon’s December 2018 Commissioning Ceremony in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center.
“This is a unique distinction among college students across the United States,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Kavanagh, commander of the Fighting Scots Battalion. “I am fully confident that our commissioned officers will not only serve our country to the best of their abilities, but also advance to become outstanding leaders.
Kavanagh also provided remarks to the commissioned class and led the new 2nd Lieutenants through the Oath of Office and pinning of Lieutenant’s Bars. Each cadet received his or her official pins from parents and family members.
Providing the keynote address for the commissioning ceremony was Lt. Col. Anthony Quinn, who has achieved a variety of decorations including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal and the President Unit Citation.
A former Army Ranger with five Special Forces Group tours of Iraq, Quinn was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1993 from Slippery Rock University and currently serves as chief of Regional Plans Division, within the U.S. Army’s G-5 Directorate.
Hunter, a Pittsburgh native who earned a bachelor’s degree this past weekend in Communication Studies, joined Edinboro’s ROTC program in the fall of 2014 and enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard through the Simultaneous Membership Program. As a cadet in ROTC, he has held various leadership positions and also competed for the Ranger Challenge team.
“From studying Communications and being involved with the Edinboro ROTC program, I have better qualified myself for future endeavors, built lifelong relationships and developed a greater purpose for my life,” Hunter said. “All my success I’ve credited to my parents for guiding me in this path I did not see for myself.”
A Conneaut, Ohio, native, Bennett graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. At Edinboro, Bennett was also involved in the Campus Outdoor Recreation Experience and several recreational sports teams.
In ROTC, Bennett competed on the Ranger Challenge team, earned a Silver German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge and was co-captain of the Cannon Crew.
“I joined ROTC because – with the way I grew up – I felt incredibly small. And for the first time, I felt like an important part of a bigger purpose,” said Bennett, who also completed U.S Army Airborne School. “It has also opened so many opportunities to build character and to be financially stable.”
Additionally, both commissioned ROTC cadets earned minors in Adaptive Leadership and Military Studies.
Edinboro has commissioned more than 200 U.S. Army officers since the ROTC program’s inception in 1973. Students enrolled in the Military Science and ROTC programs receive instruction in the fundamentals of leadership, with emphasis on self-discipline, integrity, confidence and responsibility.
For more information about Edinboro’s Military Science and ROTC programs, visit www.edinboro.edu/ROTC.
With photo: Edinboro cadets Brooke Bennett and DeAndre Hunter reached the pinnacle of their Edinboro University ROTC careers with an official commissioning as 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Lt. Col. Benjamin Kavanagh (center), commander of the Fighting Scots Battalion, provided remarks on behalf of the cadre.