[ skip to content ]

29 Army, Navy and Marine Corps ROTC From 4 Universities Become New Officers at ODU’s Annual Spring Commissioning Ceremony

By Betsy Hnath

Twenty-nine Army, Navy and Marine Corps ROTC from four universities (Old Dominion, Hampton, Norfolk State and Regent) became new officers Thursday at ODU's annual Spring Commissioning Ceremony.

New ensigns and 2nd lieutenants swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" in front of friends and family at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Representatives from each participating university spoke to the newly commissioned officers. Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick said he was honored to have the opportunity to "recognize the achievements of the fine men and women of the Army and Navy ROTC programs."

"Our Army ROTC cadets, Navy and Marine Corps officer candidates and midshipmen represent the top tier of students at Old Dominion, Norfolk State, Regent and Hampton universities," Broderick said. "I have no doubt you will carry on your legacy of excellence in your respective branches of the military."

Broderick also pointed to guest speaker Army Maj. Gen. Donna W. Martin as occupational motivation.

"If you'd like any inspiration as to where your career can go, look no further than Maj. Gen. Donna W. Martin, who's a graduate of Old Dominion University," he said.

A native of Yorktown, Martin used a ROTC scholarship to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and commissioned with the Military Police Corps in 1988.

"I'm so honored to return to my alma mater and share this momentous occasion with all of you," Martin told the graduates. "This entire campus has tripled in size since I was a young cadet doing push-ups on Foreman Field."

Martin honored the veterans, family and loved ones in the audience.

"These future leaders stand on the brink of a major accomplishment, ready because of your bravery, enduring love and support of them," she said. "Thank you for everything you have done and will do in their future."

Martin advised graduates to "take a moment to reflect on all that you've accomplished and think about what is to come."

She offered the new officers three additional pieces of advice: Listen to your noncommissioned officers, ask questions and do your homework.

"You are the next generation of guardians of our founding principles. You will soon be questioned to defend the boundaries we all hold dear and I know you are ready."

Martin has served in every staff position from battalion to combatant command during her 31-year career.

She currently serves as the commanding general of the maneuver support center of excellence and Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. She is the first woman to lead Fort Leonard Wood, which opened in 1941. She's also one of few African-Americans to do so.

Army ROTC was established at Old Dominion in September 1969 as part of the Darden School of Education. Since its inception, the program has grown in size and scope, with the establishment in the 1974-75 school year of a military science curriculum that is fully recognized by the University for academic credit. In 2003, the Faculty Senate approved an academic minor in military leadership studies.

Naval ROTC Hampton Roads, now led by Capt. Lennie E. Reed, was commissioned in July 1982 and developed an innovative concept known as the NROTC Consortium. NROTC Hampton Roads became the first unit to offer complete programs at three institutions - Hampton, Norfolk State and Old Dominion. The program has grown to include Regent and Tidewater Community College.

Related News Stories

2019 Spring Commencement Education and Business

ODU’s 2019 Commencement Speakers Discuss Gratitude, Diversity, Capitalizing on Strengths and Making an Impact

Approximately. 3,500 students received degrees in four ceremonies at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. (More)

Webb Lion Fountain

ODU Ranked No. 1 Top Online College in Virginia by OnlineColleges.com

Rankings are evaluated based on factors such as tuition costs, financial aid, academic services, career services and credit offerings. (More)


Two ODU Students Earn National Environmental Public Health Internships

Kaitlyn Greene and Brion Ockenfels are in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health program. (More)

Site Navigation

Experience Guaranteed

Enhance your college career by gaining relevant experience with the skills and knowledge needed for your future career. Discover our experiential learning opportunities.

Academic Days

Picture yourself in the classroom, speak with professors in your major, and meet current students.

Upcoming Events

From sports games to concerts and lectures, join the ODU community at a variety of campus events.