Monday, May 3, 2010

Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead Tells FAMU Ensigns Leadership is Important

Donning their military uniforms, the students stood proudly as they took the official oath of office at Florida A&M University (FAMU) commissioning ceremony, administered by Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations.

FAMU Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) held its commissioning ceremony April 30, at the Florida Capitol.

“The importance for our new officers in having the opportunity of being commissioned by the Chief of Naval Operations, the highest ranking Navy official in the country, cannot be overstated,” said Col. Elvis E. Blumenstock, USMC, FAMU NROTC Commanding Officer. “It drives home the importance of the oath they are taking in service to our country, our constitution, our fellow citizens and our comrades.”

Roughead told the students that their leadership is highly important to the safety of the nation.

“There is no greater responsibility than that of leadership,” Roughead said. “You must always stand for what is right. Do your work with passion.”

He told the prestigious group that they will be joining the ranks of many dedicated men and women who came before them.

“Today as you join them, you become a part of them—a part of a tradition,” he said. “You must combine what you have learned here with what they have learned out there.”

Roughead was a first of two of the U.S. military highest-ranking officials making their way onto campus. Admiral Mike Mullen, the 17th chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military advisor to the U.S. president, is serving as the 9 a.m. commencement speaker on May 1.

Anthony Gantt, a second Lieutenant who enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 1999, said he feels honored to be commissioned by Roughead and Mullen.

“The emotions I’m feeling are unexplainable,” said Gantt, who was at the commissioning ceremony with his family and friends. “It is an exciting time. I’m happy that both of them are coming to our institution.”

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