Two students from University of Wisconsin-Stout will become U.S. Army officers and earn their college diplomas on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony at Johnson Fieldhouse will include the commissioning of Kolt Knutson, of Sturgeon Bay, an engineering technology major; and Jenna Sorenson, of Port Wing, business administration major.
They will become second lieutenants after taking the oath of office from Capt. Jordan Schumacher, head of the university’s Army ROTC — Reserve Officer Training Corps — program. Schumacher is an assistant professor and chairs the military science department.
A separate ceremony for the cadets, including their National Guard oath and first salute, will be held at noon at Huff’s Lounge, on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center. The guest speaker will be Maj. Jared Siverling, recruiting officer for the Northwoods Battalion.
Knutson and Sorenson will join the Wisconsin National Guard, Knutson in engineering and Sorenson in aviation.
ROTC Northwoods Battalion
The ROTC program at UW-Stout is part of the Northwoods Battalion, which includes programs at UW-Stevens Point, UW-Eau Claire and UW-River Falls. Nine other cadets will graduate and be commissioned this month at those schools.
Army ROTC combines electives in military science with practical leadership training to prepare men and women to become Army officers. Upon successful completion of the program and graduation from college, cadets receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the Army, the Army Reserve or the Army National Guard.
Commissioning recognizes a cadet’s transition from student to leader and is the last step taken before beginning a career as an Army officer. Ceremonies include a commitment to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. A cadet is granted authority to carry out the duties as a commissioned officer in the Army. The authority to grant a commission rests with Congress.
The Oath of Office taken by cadets at commissioning is similar to that taken by the President of the United States at inauguration. Family members, or others close to the individual, pin the new officer with gold bars followed by a salute from a noncommissioned officer of his or her choice.
Each year the battalion trains approximately 200 cadets across all academic levels and produces an average of 22 lieutenants.
In fall 2017 the battalion was named the top program in the 3rd Army ROTC Brigade for the second time in three years. The brigade includes 42 ROTC programs at colleges and universities in nine Midwest states and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Recently UW-Stout was named a Best for Vets school for the second straight year by Military Times.
UW-Stout and Army ROTC graduates receive their diplomas during a 2018 commencement ceremony at UW-Stout.