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In today’s coronavirus (COVID-19) environment of social distancing and physical isolation, United States Army Cadet Command remains focused on meeting the needs of our nation by commissioning strong and agile leaders of character for our Army. On June 12, Cadet Command conducted the largest ever National Commissioning Ceremony for more than 1,000 cadets from across the nation. These cadets have completed the requirements to become second lieutenants in the United States Army, and being selected to participate in the ceremony is a prestigious honor.

The two cadets that participated in the ceremony are Sarah Madura, a nursing major from Mahomet, and Ryan Schmitz, a criminal justice sciences major from Peoria.

“While Sarah and Ryan’s journeys to graduation and commissioning are different, they are responding to the call to defend and preserve our fundamental ideals and freedoms,” said Lieutenant Colonel Kraig Kline, chair of the Department of Military Science. “When the Secretary of the Army administers their oath, they are demonstrating an immense level of commitment and dedication to a life of selfless service.”

Madura was selected for active duty as a nurse. “I joined ROTC because I wanted to become a more confident leader, not only for myself, but for my future patients,” said Madura. “My desire to serve people began with my passion for nursing. I found that the Army allowed me to serve patients in need as well as my country, while also challenging me to be the best that I can be.”

Schmitz was selected for active duty as an infantry officer. He joined ROTC with a goal of obtaining an Army Officer commission, and he wants to serve in the Army to “challenge myself to be the best version of myself, to live a high tempo lifestyle, and to be part of a brotherhood.”

“Their excellence at Illinois State University was not limited to a solitary area, but spanned the spectrum of academics, athletics, leadership, and exceptional moral character. Further, their amazing journey would not been possible without the unwavering support of their families, friends, teachers, and mentors,” said Kline. “Sarah and Ryan’s distinct contributions created a vision of excellence for both their peers and our ROTC program.  It is this type of behavior and positive influence that we should all strive to emulate. Their devotion to duty and patriotism warrant the respect and admiration of a grateful nation each and every day.”

The ceremony was broadcasted on YouTube and Facebook  on Friday, June 12.