Four Cardinal Battalion Army ROTC cadets are among the Fall 2020 University of Louisville graduates participating in this year’s virtual commencement.
In addition, the ROTC commissioning ceremony — traditionally held on campus the day before commencement — has been transitioned to a virtual event for the second time this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My plan is to have my immediate family set up our home for the virtual ceremony,” said Mayah Plucinski, a cadet who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. “Most likely, (we will) set up an American flag for the background of commissioning over our fireplace.”
The virtual commissioning ceremony begins 10 a.m. Dec. 11 and will be broadcast live on Facebook here.
Plucinski said she is grateful that she will be able to have her family by her side for the ceremony, during which the cadets are promoted to the rank of second lieutenant and receive their branch assignments.
“I am happy that we are able to be with our family while we commission. I was worried if it was in-person, it would only be our instructors and ourselves for the ceremony,” she added.
The other Fall 2020 cadets participating are Marcus Grady (criminal justice), Matthew Seeforth (mechanical engineering) and Mackenzie Wuebbels (nursing).
Additionally, the following cadets who graduated and were commissioned in the spring are being recognized as part of the university’s general commencement ceremony:
- John Gabriel Collins
- Zackary Thomas Golding
- Zachary Michael Hynes
- Paul Thomas Wallenhorst
- Jared Zorade Harper
- Jordan Elaine Temme
- Seth Coomes
- Lisbeth Melchor
- Richard William Goodman
- Akissi A. R. Kouassi
During a commissioning, each cadet receives a commission certificate, then family members or friends pin bars to the service members’ uniforms. There is also a tradition of a first salute, in which the new second lieutenant presents a silver dollar to the first enlisted person who renders a salute.
UofL’s Army ROTC has commissioned 570 officers since the program began in 1982, said Lt. Col. Michael Dargavell, military science department chair and commander of the Cardinal Battalion. The new officers commissioned Dec. 11 will bring the total to 574.
The Spring 2020 Army ROTC ceremony was also conducted virtually in May. Check out the Cardinal Battalion’s Facebook page for photos (scroll down to May).
UofL is also home to the U.S. Air Force’s 295th Air Force ROTC Cadet Wing. No Air Force cadets are scheduled for commissioning in December.