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USM Army ROTC Graduate Chosen for National Commissioning Ceremony

Mon, 06/15/2020 - 08:33am | By: David Tisdale

Ian BridsonIan Bridson of Overland Park, Kansas, a recent graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program, was selected to participate in the first U.S. Army ROTC Virtual National Commissioning ceremony June 12.

The event celebrated the Class of 2020 in which more than 1,000 second lieutenants from across the nation were commissioned. In today’s COVID-19 environment of social distancing and physical isolation, the Cadet Command’s primary focus is on the health, welfare and safety of its soldiers, civilians, cadets, and their family members.

During the ceremony Secretary of the Army, the Honorable Ryan McCarthy, led the cadets as they recited the Oath of Commissioned Officers and become second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Cadets participated in the event from their homes via Facebook and YouTube live events.

Approximately 70 percent of all new officers entering the U.S. Army each year are commissioned through Army ROTC. It is available at nearly 1,000 college campuses nationwide. This year, the Cadet Command is set to exceed its commissioning goal with more than 6,000 new second lieutenants.

Army ROTC teaches leadership and discipline, management techniques, cultural awareness and problem solving. Those who participate in Army ROTC develop leadership and managerial skills that last a lifetime. It is also the nation’s largest grantor of college scholarships, awarding more than $340 million this year. These merit-based benefits provide approximately 15,000 students each year with academic scholarships and monthly stipends while they are in the program. To view this event, visit For more information about the Army ROTC program at USM, visit