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Two graduates commissioned as Army officers during commencement

 

Two members of the Class of 2014 were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army during the May 10 Commencement at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.

Lt. Isaac Andrew Minor, a resident of Fuquay-Varnia N.C., and Lt. Keith Edward Linville, a Hampton, Va. resident, were sworn in as Army officers following their successful completion of the ROTC program at UVa-Wise. Lt. Col. Daniel Bishop from East Tennessee State University conducted the ceremony. UVa-Wise ROTC is a branch of the ETSU ROTC program.

“This day is the culmination of four years of incredibly hard work by these young men,” Bishop said of the two new second lieutenants.

Bishop explained that Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University of Virginia, recognized the need for educated officers to defend the nation, which is why he established the United States Military Academy in 1802. He said ROTC programs have now eclipsed West Point by supplying 80 percent of newly commissioned officers for the Army.

“The students at Wise have a storied history of service in the military,” Bishop said. “Of the 109 full-time students that first walked onto campus in 1954, two thirds were Korean War veterans. Cadets Minor and Linville will join the four other UVa-Wise graduates over the last few years to carry on this tradition of service.”

Bishop said the cadet corps at UVa-Wise has grown in size over the last few years.

“This year was the first year that the UVa-Wise ROTC guidon flew proudly as our cadets competed at Fort Benning at the U.S. Army Small Arms Marksmanship Championship, at Xavier University at the Cadet Best Ranger Competition, in New Mexico with the 6,200 participants at the Bataan Memorial March and in the mountains of Tennessee at the Mountain Man Memorial March,” Bishop said.

Lt. Minor will follow his father and older brother, both officers, on active duty as an infantry officer. Lt. Linville will serve with the Virginia National Guard as an ordinance officer.

“I am confident that they will take the lessons they have learned here at Wise and serve as exceptional Army officers,” Bishop said.

Family members attached the second lieutenant rank to the new officers uniforms, and the officers received their first salute. The newly commissioned officers awarded a silver dollar, each representing the significant contribution that others have made to their training and development, to the individuals who renderedthe first salute.

Left to Right: Lt. Minor and Lt. Linville are sworn in by Lt. Col Bishop

Photo by Tim Cox

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