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ODU Alumnus, Lt. Gen. Mick Bednarek, to Speak at Joint Commissioning Ceremony

Lt. Gen. John M. Bednarek will be the guest speaker at the joint Army/Naval ROTC commissioning ceremony on Friday, May 6.

The Army, Navy and Marine Corps will commission about 60 officers at the event, featuring candidates from Old Dominion, Hampton and Norfolk State universities.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Chesapeake) will also speak at the event.

The presidents of all three schools plan to attend the commissioning ceremony, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. at ODU's Ted Constant Convocation Center.

"On today's battlefield the Army never fights alone; it is always a joint effort between all the services. Commissioning our young officers in a joint ceremony is a great start and introduction into how we operate," said Lt. Col. Carl Michaud, commanding officer of the ODU Army ROTC, which is host for the commissioning ceremony.

Bednarek, who received his officer commissioning at ODU in 1975, has served in a number of high-profile postings, including his most recent command, the First Army at Fort Gillem, Ga.

Lt. Cmdr. Jeremy Jameson, associate professor of naval science at ODU, said the Hampton Roads Naval ROTC is proud of the role it plays in shaping and molding its cadets into commissioned officers.

"The joint commissioning ceremony recognizes the culmination of hard work and dedication to not only academics, but physical fitness, and the ability to demonstrate the basics of leadership, management and ethics," Jameson said.

"This ceremony will be the most important in our cadets' military career. It is the first step that could lead to a lifelong career of selfless devotion and service to our great nation, supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States of America."

Capt. Dick Whalen, ODU's military liaison, said the joint commissioning ceremony offers a chance to recognize the students from ODU who have volunteered to defend the country's freedoms, whenever duty calls.

"By combining our Army and Navy ROTC units into a single joint ceremony, our young officers will graduate just as they will progress throughout their careers, working side by side with personnel from other military services," Whalen said.

"The joint celebration event also allows the university to express 'thanks' to our ROTC cadre for a job very well done in supporting their alma mater as student organization leaders during remembrance ceremonies, and at cultural and athletic functions."

Whalen said the on-campus event also demonstrates to senior military personnel, participants, and family and friends of the new officers that ODU remains committed to supporting the armed forces. That commitment has translated into the Hampton Roads joint ROTC unit being one of the largest and top-performing programs in the country.

This article was posted on: May 6, 2011

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