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MMI cadets commissioned

Special to the Times-Journal

MARION — On Saturday, Marion Military Institute celebrated the Commissioning of 30 cadets at the 94th annual commissioning ceremony on campus.

The ceremony had a very special appearance by Sergeant Major John Stanley of the 5th Special Forces Group, out of Baghdad, Iraq as he saluted his son Jarrod Stanley for his first salute, over skype. This momentous occasion marks the first time that the first salute has been rendered from the other side of the world, and was very special to Jarrod because his father was able to participate in his own commissioning.

“It’s so great to see these student succeeding in such a great way after two years of hard work at MMI,” Lieutenant Colonel Ryan, the Professor of Military Science at MMI said, “I know each and every one of them are going to be great leaders.”

“There wasn’t a single dry eye in the crowd after John Stanley saluted his son,” said First Lieutenant Tamara Brewer after the commissioning ceremony. “It was so amazing seeing the reaction of both Jarrod and his father as well as the whole crowd of people as they stood to their feet and cheered the father and son on.”

The ceremony lasted about an hour and celebrated the last two years at MMI, culminating in the pinning of each student to their new rank as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army. The special guest and speaker for the ceremony was Major General Arthur Bartell, the Commanding General of the United States Army Cadet Command, who spoke about the strength of MMI’s program and the need for the Early Commissioning Program (ECP) that MMI offers to its cadets.

Bartell’s speech started out with a little humor and transitioned into talking about MMI as a whole and how proud he was of the future 2nd Lieutenants. The entire ceremony was streamed to Stanley as he watched his son and 29 other cadets receive their first commissioning rank in the Army, and as they went out from MMI to other schools for the remainder of their college years.

“Having Stanley watch his son’s commissioning ceremony from Iraq was so incredible,” Dr. Susan Stevenson, the Dean at MMI said to reporters, “it’s really great what technology allows us to do these days, and I am glad that Jarrod was able to share this tremendous day with his father in Iraq.”