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Dept. of Military Science Commissions Five Army Officers


JONESBORO – The Department of Military Science and Leadership at Arkansas State University commissioned five ROTC cadets as second lieutenants Friday, May 11, during a ceremony attended by family, friends and university staff.

The new officers also received their university diplomas during Arkansas State’s Spring Commencement Saturday.

State Sen. Dave Wallace of Leachville, a retired lieutenant colonel, was the guest speaker for the officer commissioning ceremony.  Wallace, who was commissioned through A-State's ROTC program, completed a distinguished military career with numerous commendations including seven decorations for valor while serving in Vietnam, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Bronze Star.

Lt. Col. Brian Mason, professor of military science, administered the oath to the new officers:

Hayden H. Blankenship of Heber Springs was commissioned into the Army National Guard, branched aviation.  Blankenship, who completed his bachelor's degree in renewable energy technology, was pinned by his parents Brenda and Joe, and his grandparents, Helen and Bill Blankenship.

Chelsea T. Carter of Shelby, Miss., was assigned to the Mississippi National Guard and branched adjutant general corps.  Carter, who completed a master's degree in communication studies, was pinned by her sisters, LaPorsha and Johnne Carter.

Jonathan T. Foels of Dexter, Mo., was commissioned into U.S. Army active duty, branched infantry.  Foels, who completed his bachelor's degree in political science, was pinned by his mother, Christine Murray, and his father, Mark Foels, and his fiancée Dana Sanchez.

Timothy M. Forney of Peoria, Ariz., was commissioned into U.S. Army active duty, branched field artillery.  Forney, who completed a business administration degree, was pinned by his parents, Michael and Maranda Forney.

Dana E. Sanchez of Jonesboro was commissioned into the Army Reserve, air defense artillery.  Sanchez, who completed her bachelor's degree in biological sciences, pre-professional program, was pinned by her mother Michelle, her sister Amanda, and her fiancée, new 2nd Lt. Jonathan Foels.

Pinning is a tradition in which a newly commissioned soldier receives the gold bars of a second lieutenant from those who played a significant role in the officer's mentorship, development and support.

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) provides each new officer a one-year membership in MOAA’s national chapter, as well as their first gold bars.

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