Florida Tech ROTC Panther Battalion Conducts Virtual Commissioning for Two Army Second Lieutenants
By Space Coast Daily // May 15, 2021
U.S. Army Second Lieutenants Marco Vergara and Alex Apathy take commissioning oath
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Florida Institute of Technology ROTC Panther Battalion recently held its Spring Commissioning Ceremony for new Army Second Lieutenants Marco Vergara and Alex Apathy.
Normally, the Panther Battalion conducts the commissioning with speakers, friends and families attending on the Florida Tech Campus just prior to spring graduation.
Due to on-going pandemic measures however, the commissioning for the new Army Officers was conducted virtually.
They took the commissioning oath of office via video-teleconference from multiple remote locations, pinning on their new rank insignia with friends and family, while other participants live-streamed the ceremony from over 30 locations.
At the ceremony, LTC Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech Professor of Military Science, reminded the new Lieutenants of the responsibilities they were undertaking as commissioned officers in the Army.
The Lieutenants also heard messages from Dr. Dwayne McCay, President the Florida Institute of Technology, and Brigadier General Joseph B. Berger III, Commandant of the Army’s Judge Advocate General Legal Center in Charlottesville, Virginia.
■ Marco Vergara is graduating with a degree in Biomedical Science. He was commissioned as an Active-Duty Medical Service Corps Officer. Marco received a four-year ROTC scholarship to attend Florida Tech.
As part of his ROTC studies, he completed a Cadet Leadership Development and Cultural Understanding Course in Chile. He is also a graduate of Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, California.
■ Alex Apathy is graduating with a degree in Aviation Management. He received a three-and-a-half-year ROTC scholarship to attend Florida Tech. His ROTC studies included Opposing Force Training and Basic Airborne (Parachute) Training. He is also a graduate of Berea-Midpark High School in Berea, Ohio.
Normally, representatives from the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America attend the commissioning ceremony and present the new officers with their first “Gold Bars” – the rank insignia of Second Lieutenants.
This year, MOAACC representatives remotely live-streamed the ceremony and virtually presented the commissioning sets to the new officers.
“We congratulate Alex and Marco and welcome them to our ranks and wish them the best of luck in their journey as officers in the United States Army,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Steve Bond, President of MOAACC.