Moccasin Battalion Cadets Commissioned As Army Officers

Jan 31, 2020

by Greg Williams
Publications Editor
Originally appeared in Southern News Magazine

Graduating cadets of the Moccasin Battalion were commissioned as Army 2nd Lieutenants during the Spring ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, an annual component of Commencement Weekend activities. Family and friends were on hand in FSC’s Annie Pfeiffer Chapel to help mark the commissioning, which featured speakers Lt. Col. Rocky Vaira, professor of military science and department chair at Florida Southern, and Brig. Gen. Stanley Budraitis, Commander of the 66th Troop Command of the Mississippi Army National Guard.

The commissioning ceremony was Lt. Col. Vaira’s last at FSC before heading to United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. A professor at FSC since 2015, Lt. Col. Vaira told the cadets, “I’m extremely proud of all of you. I hope I challenged you to think critically, analyze carefully, and as I always say, ‘Be ready to fight tonight.’” He also recognized the College’s faculty and staff “for all of their time, dedication, and energy in preparing our future leaders and really teaching them ‘how to think’ as they enter our Army as leaders in a very complex world for a nation still at war.”

Brig. Gen. Budraitis spoke to the graduating cadets about the importance of leading from the front, as well as by example. He challenged the graduates to take care of their soldiers, to be actively involved in their professional development, and to advance their own personal development by always continuing to learn and evolve as professional soldiers.

Established in 1951, the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) is an integral and valued member of the Florida Southern family. Learn more about ROTC at Florida Southern College.