ETSU ROTC commissions graduates as second lieutenants in Army


Nine cadets in the Army ROTC Program at East Tennessee State University have taken the oath of office and were commissioned as second lieutenants. The new officers will serve in various branches of the United States Army upon graduation from ETSU.

The commissioning is typically conducted during an in-person ceremony preceding ETSU’s Commencement Exercises, but for the safety of cadets and their families, a virtual ceremony is available to view on the ETSU Army ROTC Facebook page at

Adam Stafford

ETSU President Brian Noland provided the keynote address for cadets, and Lt. Col. Shawn Dodge, professor and chair of Military Science, led the commissionings. In addition to the pinning of the bars, the commissionees took part in the “Silver Dollar Tradition” by presenting a shiny silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier to salute him or her.

The nine graduating members of the Buccaneer Battalion join the ranks of more than 1,500 cadets to be commissioned at ETSU since the ROTC Program began in 1953. The Class of 2020 was awarded degrees at ETSU’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony Saturday, May 9.

Adam Victor Stafford of Limestone and Braden Robert Trent of Johnson City were among those commissioned as second lieutenants. Stafford served as the battalion command sergeant major in the Buccaneer Battalion. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Armor branch.

Braden Trent

Trent held the rank of cadet major and served as both the battalion commander and the S3 in the Buccaneer Battalion. Trent has obtained a bachelor’s degree in communications studies and received his United States Army commission as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. Upon completion of the Infantry Basic Officers Leaders Course, he plans to be stationed with the 173rd Airborne Division in Italy.

Other members of the class include John Davis and Samuel Groomes of Kingsport, Jonathan Pender DeLozier of Canton, North Carolina, Lucas Alan Hackleman of Parsons, Kansas, Alexander Jatto of Greensboro, North Carolina, Bryan Miller of Asheville, North Carolina, and Micah Kenyon Wheeler of Oak Ridge.


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