Notre Dame ROTC to commission senior cadets
Lucas Masin-Moyer | Friday, May 13, 2016
On May 14 in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, 13 cadets will be commissioned while the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, gives the keynote address. This ceremony will be a joint commissioning with members of the Navy and Air Force ROTCs.
According to Lt. Col. Christopher Pratt, the class of 2016 has stood out for its intelligence, motivation, and leadership.
“We have a very strong senior class — we have 13 seniors commissioning, which is the largest commissioning class out of the tri-mil this year,” Pratt said. “Out of this senior class, we have four that we call DMG — Distinguished Military Graduates. These are individuals that are in the top 10 percent of the country.”
The Notre Dame ROTC is comprised of students from six universities — the University of Notre Dame, Bethel College, Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College, Indiana University at South Bend (IUSB) and Valparaiso University.
The cadets who are being commissioned from Notre Dame, listed with their assignments, are as follows:
- Austin Crehan — Illinois National Guard — Infantry
- Michael Deasey — Army Reserve — Military Intelligence
- Fernanda Garcia — Active Duty — Corps of Engineers
- Matthew Jackson — Active Duty — Field Artillery
- John Lake — Active Duty — Cyber Corps
- Michael McGraw — Active Duty — Armor
- Peter Noell — Active Duty — Infantry
- Ryne Quinlan — Arizona National Guard — Corps of Engineers
- Michael Weeks — Army Reserve — Military Intelligence
From Saint Mary’s College, Isabella Gagnon and Brett Quick, both of whom will be serving Active Duty in the Signal Corps, will be commissioned.
According to Pratt, the class of 2016 enjoyed many special experiences, chief among them being a staff ride to the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Pratt said this trip “allows [cadets] to connect to the program’s history and lineage, tying into the Irish Brigade, which served at Gettysburg.”
In addition, this trip allowed seniors to view a statue of Father William Corby, a former President of the University and member of the Irish Brigade during the battle of Gettysburg, a replica of which stands outside of Corby Hall.
The senior cadets also participated in many other events this year, including leadership developments exercises (LDX) at the National Guard Armory in Kingsbury, Indiana and at Fort Custer in Michigan. Cadets also participated in combat water survival tests at the University, rapelling labs at the South Bend Fire Department and two awards ceremonies.
Pratt said success is consistent among cadets in the Notre Dame ROTC program and that this success is the culmination of four years of work.
“When you come in as a scholarship cadet to Notre Dame, you generally finish,” he said. “We have about a 96% progression rate, which means that if you start the program, you generally finish if you’re a scholarship cadet. The important thing with that is that 95% of seniors [were commissioned] … [and] that is mostly based on their performance.”