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Joint ROTC ceremony

Jeff Rankin
Newly commissioned 2nd Lt. J.D. Holeman (center), a senior from Jacksonville, performs the traditional cake cutting with a saber following the fall Army ROTC commissioning ceremony at Monmouth College. He is assisted by William Trubeck, vice chair of the college’s board of trustees and a former Army captain (left), and Brig. Gen. Roy S. Webb of the Iowa National Guard.
One Monmouth College Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet and three Western Illinois University cadets were commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during a Dec. 17 ceremony at Monmouth College.

More than 100 family members and friends turned out for the ceremony, which featured addresses by MC president Mauri Ditzler and Brig. Gen. Roy S. Webb of the Iowa National Guard. Following the administration of the oath to the cadets, traditional ceremonies were held involving cutting a cake with a saber and the new officers receiving their first salute.

The Monmouth College cadet to be commissioned an officer was James Deon Holeman, a physical education major from Jacksonville. The recipient of an active duty commission in the Military Police Corps, he will complete the basic MP course Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri before proceeding to his first duty assignment at Fort Hood, Texas.

It was the inaugural combined commissioning ceremony held on the Monmouth campus since MC’s ROTC unit was reactivated in 2007. A federal military drawback in 1994 had consolidated the program at regional universities, requiring Monmouth military science students to complete all their coursework through WIU. With support from the Monmouth administration, however, the college once again offers courses on campus and currently has 18 active cadets.

According to Lt. Col. Thomas Seifert, chair of WIU’s military science department, three commissioning ceremonies are generally scheduled per year – May, August and December – to appoint the new second lieutenants. Monmouth College has offered to host the ceremony as its cadets are being commissioned.

“Hopefully the partnership between WIU and Monmouth College will continue to grow as we produce the Army’s future officer leadership,” Seifert said.

Also representing Monmouth College at the ceremony were William L. Trubeck, vice chair of the board of trustees and a member of the college’s first ROTC class in 1968; David Timmerman, dean of faculty; Jacquelyn Condon, dean of students; and senior Jim Fry of Monmouth, a student chaplain.