Four cadets from Florida Tech’s Army ROTC program were commissioned as second lieutenants on May 6 as Florida Tech held its spring commissioning ceremony.
The new officers are: Ryan Lepp, Nick Piccirilli, Tricia Prior and Liam Yu.
“Congratulations to these outstanding cadets. You represent what’s best and brightest about our student body,” Marco Carvalho, executive vice president and provost and acting president, said in opening remarks. “To the families and friends joining us today on this special occasion, congratulations to you as well. The support who have offered is candidates I’m sure has played a significant role in their accomplishments.”
Lepp earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He will commission active-duty Field Artillery branch detail with a basic branch of Engineer. Piccirilli earned a B.S. in Aviation Management, non-flight. He will commission into the Florida National Guard as an Air-Defense Artillery officer. Prior earned a B.A. in Forensic Psychology. She will commission as an active-duty Air Defense Artillery officer. Yu earned a B.S. in Information Systems with a minor in finance. He will commission as an active-duty Transportation Corps Officer.
The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Brigadier Gen. William R. Glaser, director of the Army’s Synthetic Training Environment Cross-Functional Team in Orlando. After thanking Carvalho and praising Florida Tech for its support of the ROTC program – “absolutely phenomenal” – he offered the cadets advice from a range of perspectives.
Glaser said there are three areas worth focusing on to ensure platoons and their leaders come back safely: maintain physical fitness personally and among the soldiers; excel at small arms marksmanship; and know combat life-saving skills.
“Being a hero sometimes is saving lives,” he said. “And so I would tell you that when things go badly, and it comes to saving the life of a soldier, you don’t rise to the occasion, you stick to your training.”
He also spoke of the importance of troop-leading procedures for the young officers, and especially rehearsals. He said map-reading skills are critical and need to become second-nature. And he said even the best-trained and prepared units may be ineffective if they lack this final, essential ingredient: trust.
“If you have trust within your formation, up and down the chain of command, and more importantly to your peers to your left and right, there is nothing that the U.S. Army can’t do,” Glaser said. “By living by the Army values and instilling those, there is no way you can’t inspire trust throughout your formation and those around you.”