May 08, 2023

SIU Air Force ROTC commissioning ceremony on May 12

by Tim Crosby

Two Air Force ROTC cadets at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will receive their commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force during a ceremony set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, on the lower level at Grinnell Hall. Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to attend.

The one-hour ceremony will provide an excellent opportunity to discuss with students their thoughts on graduating from SIU Carbondale and joining the military. Their initial active-duty commission is for four years of service.

The ceremony will consist of an officiant who presides over the event and keynote remarks from retired U.S. Air Force Col. Laurel “Buff” Burkel. Colonel Burkel served as a C-130H navigator and survived a broken neck during a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2015. She now serves as a Wounded Warrior Ambassador and Mentor in the greater St Louis area.

Following this, the cadets will swear or affirm an oath of office and will have their new rank pinned onto their new officer’s uniform. The new officers will then exchange a traditional “first salute” with an enlisted member of their choice from any military branch.

For more information, contact Lt. Col. Jessica Dwyer, commander, Air Force ROTC detachment at SIU, at 908-581-0553.