Campus News

UGA to hold commissioning ceremonies for the Air Force and Army

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia will hold commissioning ceremonies for 10 University of Georgia Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC cadets who will be commissioned as second lieutenants. The Army ROTC event will be Aug. 2 at 1 p.m. in the UGA Chapel. The guest speaker will be Canadian Brig. Gen. W.D. Eyre.

“This summer, commissioning marks the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication,” said Lt. Col. Kurt Felpel, commander of the Bulldog Battalion and an adjunct professor of military science. “These cadets have proven to be scholars, athletes and leaders. The military that these young men and women are about to enter is ever changing, but I am confident that the skills and leadership qualities that they learned here at UGA will serve them well during their careers. The cadre and staff of the Bulldog Battalion are proud of each and every one of them.”

The second lieutenants will be sent to various military units throughout the country for officer training and then possible deployment with their first unit.

The UGA Army ROTC August 2013 graduating class is expected to commission eight cadets, in addition to 10 classmates previously commissioned this fiscal year. One is recognized as a Distinguished Military Student, which is the academic classification for the top 10 percent of the cadets in his class at UGA; four will receive active duty orders; one will receive reserve orders; and three will receive National Guard assignments. The average GPA for the class was 3.20.

To be eligible for commissions, cadets must be medically qualified, pass an Army or Air Force physical fitness test, maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA, and pass the height and weight standards. Freshman and sophomore cadets take basic ROTC courses and make a decision to contract with the Army or Air Force during this time period. If they choose to become a contracted cadet, they participate in advanced ROTC leadership and assessment programs. Upon graduation from UGA in good standing, the cadets are elevated to the rank of second lieutenant and are commissioned to serve the Army or Air Force for four years of active duty and four years of individual ready reserve or eight years of National Guard or Reserves duty.

A separate ceremony for the Air Force will be held Aug. 7.

“The Air Force is a great way of life,” said Lt. Col. Ann M. Halle, commander of the Flying Bulldogs, the Air Force ROTC Detachment 160 at UGA. “It’s not just a job…it’s a profession that only a few are truly called to do. This commissioning ceremony marks a deep turning point in these graduates’ lives, the turning point from college student to one of the most respected professions in the world…a United States Military Officer.”

The second lieutenants, their hometowns, active duty commission and the location of their basic training are:

Emily Dresser, Strasburg, Penn.
Adjutant General, Army National Guard
Fort Jackson, S.C.

Gabriel Egas, Lilburn
Ordinance, Army National Guard
Fort Lee, Va.

Steven Freund, Savannah
Aviation, Army National Guard
Fort Rucker, Ala.

John Marvets, Columbus
Transportation, Army Reserves
Fort Lee, Virginia

Andrew Massey, Milledgeville
Anticipated to commission into Active Duty U.S. Army

Dante Pilgrim, Appling
Anticipated to commission into Active Duty U.S. Army

James Sosebee, Blairsville
Military Police, U.S. Army
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Jeffrey K. Thompson, Kathleen, Ga.
Pilot, U.S. Air Force
Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas

Alec Velasco, Hinesville
Quartermaster, U.S. Army
Fort Lee, Va.

Kyle A. Wisniewski, Warner Robins
Cyberspace Operations, U.S. Air Force
Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.

UGA Bulldog Battalion
A unit of the UGA Office of the Vice President for Instruction, Bulldog Battalion is one of the oldest ROTC programs in the nation. While a military-educated presence has been evident since the establishment of classes on the UGA campus in 1801, Army ROTC became official on June 30, 1919. More than 20 U.S. generals began their military careers with the Bulldog Battalion. For more information, see

Flying Bulldogs
The University of Georgia Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 160, is a leadership program for college students interested in earning a commission and entering the active duty Air Force, as an officer, after completing a bachelor’s degree. AFROTC instructs students in military heritage, the development of air and space power, military ethics, drill and ceremonies, communication, human relations, and leadership theory and techniques. For more information, see