Ten Second Lieutenants commissioned
Keynote speaker was Maj. Gen. David B. Lacquement, who is a graduate of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) and was commissioned through ROTC as a second lieutenant in June 1977.
Lacquement joined ROTC in 1973 just as the Vietnam War was winding down and society at large had little respect for the Army. As a career officer, Lacquement has learned to live and interact with people around the world.
“Fortunately, the nation’s Army is tremendously resilient. It weathered the Vietnam-era storm and through decades of focused leadership has grown into what is inarguably the world’s finest land force. You all are about to become key leaders on this team,” he said in his address to the newly commissioned officers of the Green Terror Battalion. “Even academic freedom is made possible through your willingness to serve.”
Among Lacquement's tips for success as an Army officer were, “mission first, people always,” “demonstrate dignity and respect for your troops,” and, “take prudent risks and seek new experiences. Nothing worth having comes without the risk of failure."
Lacquement contacted the College's Military Science department after flying over the campus last year and deciding it was time to “give back” to his alma mater.
He was among three alumni – all of whom have earned the rank of general – attending the 89th Commissioning Ceremony. His fellow alumni included Retired Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther ’63 and college trustee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics when the school was known as Western Maryland College; and Brig. Gen Annette Deener ’75, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts and who now serves as deputy assistant adjutant general for the Maryland Army National Guard. She is the third woman to achieve the rank in Maryland National Guard history.
Retired Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther ’63, Maj. Gen. David B. Lacquement ’77 and Brig. Gen Annette Deener ’75
Others in attendance for the ceremony included Brig. Gen. Jerry G. Beck Jr., who is the commanding General, 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
The following seniors took the oath of office and received commissions as follows:
Sean Fraser, a McDaniel graduate, joined the Green Terror Battalion in August 2005. He has held many positions, including squad leader, platoon sergeant, company first sergeant, and the battalion public affairs officer. These positions included ranks from second lieutenant staff sergeant to second lieutenant captain. He is being commissioned to BOLC II and Armor OBC. He will be assigned to a unit in the Armor branch.
Benjamin Glass, a McDaniel graduate, joined the Green Terror Battalion in 2005. He held the positions of squad leader, platoon sergeant, platoon leader, and Battalion S-6 during his senior year. Glass was a member of the color guard team for two years. He completed the Leadership Development and Assessment Course in Fort Lewis, Wash., in the summer of 2008. Glass was branched National Guard Military Police and will commission a second lieutenant into the 200th Military Police Company, Maryland Army National Guard.
Daniel Gonski, a McDaniel graduate, was a four-year participant of the Ranger Challenge Team and during his senior year, he led the team to an overall Division Three first-place finish. After his MSI year, he attended Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Ga., and earned his Airborne Wings. He also went to Camp Buckner in West Point, N.Y., to participate in Summer Training. He entered his MSIII year as the command sergeant major, and then attended the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash. He finished in the top 5 percent of his regiment. He entered his MSIV year as the S-3. He will commission as a Medical Service Corps Officer into Charlie Company 104th Area Support Medical Company, Maryland Army National Guard. He will attend Officer Basic Leadership Course at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Joshua Nelson, a Hood College graduate, enlisted in the Army in March 2006. His first duty assignment was with the 129th Long Range Surveillance Detachment in Cascade, Md., where he served as a surveillance team member and surveillance team leader. Upon entering the Green Terror Battalion, he attended Leaders Development Assessment Course in Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he earned the Recondo Badge. During his senior year, he served as Task Force Frederick’s Operations Officer. Nelson attended flight school at the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Ft. Rucker, Ala., and was assessed as an Aviation Officer. He will report to Fort Rucker this fall to begin BOLC 2 at Fort Benning, Ga., followed by Dunker, SERE-C, Initial Entry Rotary Wing School, and Aviation Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker.
Analiza Saraza, a Mount St. Mary’s University graduate, entered the Green Terror Battalion during her MSIII year as the CO. She received the Bold Leader Award and LTC Graduate Award in July 2007. She was also a part of the Mount’s Army ROTC color guard team. During the Presidential Review in spring 2008, Saraza received an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution and the National Sojourners Award. This spring, she received a Distinguished Military Student Award and the National Defense Industrial Association Award. Last summer, she completed the Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Fort Lewis, Wash. Saraza entered her MSIV year as CO, followed by AS-3 to the GTB’s operations officer. Saraza will commission into Charlie Company, 104th ASMC, Maryland Army National Guard as a Medical Service Corps Officer.
Robert Silva, a McDaniel graduate, entered the Green Terror Battalion after transferring to the college during his sophomore year. He has served in many leadership positions, including assistant squad leader, company commander, and assistant training/operations officer. During his junior year, he was a member of the Ranger Challenge Team. He is a member of the Simultaneous Membership Program with the Maryland Army National Guard with the 200th Military Police Company, 115th Military Police Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard. He completed the Leadership Development Assessment Course in August 2008 and will commission into the Military Police Corps with the 200th Military Police Company, 115th Military Police Battalion, Maryland Army National Guard.
Daniel Spurrier, a McDaniel graduate, entered the Green Terror Battalion in 2005. He has held the following positions: squad leader, platoon sergeant, first sergeant and battalion commander. In addition to being a member of the Ranger Challenge Team for three years, he attended the Basic Airborne Course during Summer 2006; earned the Recondo badge while attending the Leadership Assessment and Development Course last summer, and conducted four weeks of training at Fort Drum, N.Y. He is branched Active Duty Infantry, has been designated a Distinguished Military Graduate and awarded the George C. Marshall Leadership Award. This fall, he will be attending BOLC II, IOBC and Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. His first duty station will be with the 3rd ID at Fort Stewart, Ga.
John Stewart, a McDaniel graduate, has served as squad leader, platoon leader, S-4 supply and logistics staff officer, and captain of the color guard. He is commissioning into the active Army in the Military Intelligence branch, with a branch detail to Field Artillery. He will be attending BOLC II and III early next year.
Leif Vestermark, a Hood College graduate, has completed Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Ga., second lieutenant field training at West Point, and the Leadership Development Assessment Course at Ft. Lewis, Wash. After completing LDAC, he participated in a five-week internship with the Army Medical Department at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. He has participated in the Green Terror Battalion Color Guard and the Ranger Challenge Team, which placed first in the 2008 regional competition. His last position in the Green Terror Battalion included commanding the Task Force at Hood College and Mount St. Mary’s University. He is commissioning Active Duty into the United States Army, branching Medical Service Corps. Leif is also pending an educational delay to study medicine to serve as a doctor in the United States Army Medical Corps.
Andrew C. Weiss, a Hood College graduate, completed Leader’s Training Course at Ft. Knox, Ky., and the Leadership Development Assessment Course at Ft. Lewis, Wash. During his junior year, he joined the simultaneous membership program with the Maryland Army National Guard. He has served as the Company commander of Task Force at Hood College and the assistant training and personnel operations officer. He is commissioning into the U.S. Army, branching Medical Service Corps.