UNM Army ROTC Virtually Commissions 14 Second Lieutenants
May 18, 2020 - Dorene DiNaro
The United States Army—more than 700,000 soldiers strong—just became Lobo Strong with the addition of 14 newly-commissioned Second Lieutenants. These soldiers join the largest branch of the military to serve in a diverse range of roles from doctors to civil affairs representatives and everything in between.
The UNM Army ROTC program held its first-ever virtual commissioning ceremony via Zoom and Facebook Live—a sign of current times—to celebrate the cadets’ accomplishments and forward them into their new roles.
The 2020 senior class made up of one graduate and 13 undergraduate students were each sworn in with their commissioned officer oath of office. Family members pinned their seniors with their new rank, and the new lieutenants performed their first salute to the senior non-commissioned officer instructor, Master Sergeant Donta Brown—all through the magic of technology.
Army ROTC faculty performed over eight hours of rehearsals to not only overcome a technological learning curve, but more importantly to ensure that it would live up to the ceremony’s importance and significance. Ultimately, they decided to set up a mini movie studio to ensure they had the right sound, lighting and background and the ceremony went as planned.
Over 1,300 people viewed it on Facebook setting a new “attendance” record for the event. “During an in-person ceremony, we typically have between 150 to 200 in attendance,” says Lieutenant Colonel Tommy Chae, UNM Army ROTC’s Professor of Military Science. “This is by far the biggest ‘audience’ we have ever had.”
With their newly acquired skills and by all appearances a ceremony that went off without a hitch, Chae says they may look into incorporating similar technology to future events. “We will look to continue to use social media platforms to broadcast these special ceremonies so that we can include as many friends, family, students, faculty, and folks interested in UNM Army ROTC,” he says.
For more information on the UNM Army ROTC program, please visit their website. Congratulations Second Lieutenants!