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ETSU ROTC commissions graduates as second lieutenants in U.S. Army

Submitted by Amanda Marsh Mowell • Jan 12, 2020 at 10:15 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Four cadets in the Army ROTC Program at East Tennessee State University took the oath of office Dec. 13 and were commissioned as second lieutenants during a ceremony held in the Grand Soldier’s Ballroom at the Carnegie Hotel. The new officers will serve in various branches upon graduation from ETSU.

Lt. Col. Shawn Dodge, professor and chair of military science, and Col. Hershell E. Wolfe (retired) spoke at the ceremony. Wolfe, who graduated from ETSU in 1972, has 46 years of federal service and 33 years of service in the U.S. Army. Notable assignments include assistant chief, Medical Service Corps and consultant for all preventive medicine sciences, Office of the Army Surgeon; adjunct professor for preventive medicine and biometrics, Uniform Services University of Health Sciences; and deputy assistant secretary of the Army for environment, safety and occupational health, Pentagon. He retired from the Army with the rank of colonel in 2002 and retired from civilian work in 2015. Today, Wolfe volunteers as a lecturer and research consultant at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He also serves as senior mentor to the board of directors for two minority small businesses and is the third vice president of the SENCLAND chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

The four graduating members of the ETSU Buccaneer Battalion received their diplomas at commencement ceremonies held Dec. 14. Those commissioned as second lieutenants are:

Jared Kenneth Cathey of Canton, North Carolina, who served as the battalion command sergeant major and held the rank of cadet command sergeant major in the Buccaneer Battalion. Cathey earned a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology and received his U.S. Army commission as a second lieutenant armor officer in the Tennessee National Guard. 2nd Lt. Cathey will be assigned to the 278th ACR in Crossville, Tennessee, as a platoon leader and will assume an operations trainee position with Vulcan Materials Company upon graduation. Cathey is the son of Tom Cathey and Amy Johnson.

Isaac Kinser of Johnson City, who served as battalion commander and held the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel in the Buccaneer Battalion. Kinser earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and received his U.S. Army commission as a second lieutenant in the infantry. Upon completion of the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, 2nd Lt. Kinser will be assigned to the 25th ID in Hawaii. Kinser is the son of Bryce Kinser, Amber Kinser and Patrick Cronin.

Natalia Lyszczarczyk Kinser of Pigeon Forge, who served as the Buccaneer Battalion S-5 and held the rank of cadet captain. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and minored in military science. She received her U.S. Army commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. Upon completion of the AMEDD Officer Basic Course, 2nd. Lt. Kinser will be assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kinser is the daughter of Margie and Chris Lyszczarczyk.

Alicia Sue Rodriguez of Elizabethton, who served as the battalion S1 and company executive officer and held the rank of cadet captain in the Buccaneer Battalion. She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in military science. Rodriguez received her United States Army Commission as a second lieutenant in Military Intelligence. She is the daughter of Jose and Mildred Rodriguez.

In addition to the pinning of the bars, the commissionees also took part in the “Silver Dollar Tradition” by giving a shiny silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier to salute him or her.

To learn more about the Army ROTC program at ETSU, visit www.etsu.edu/rotc.

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