Florida Institute of Technology ROTC Panther Battalion held its Winter Commissioning Ceremony Dec. 11 for five new Army second lieutenants.

Due to the pandemic the ceremony was conducted with most participants attending remotely.

The new officers were sworn in and their rank insignia pinned on as participants watched the live-streamed ceremony.

Lt. Col. Jimmy Crook, Florida Tech professor of military science, acknowledged the uniqueness of this ceremony.

The new lieutenants heard messages from Army leaders while the president of Florida Tech, Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, and the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, were the guest speakers.

Normally, representatives from the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAACC) attend the commissioning and present the new officers with their first Gold Bars, the rank insignia. They also welcome the new officers into MOAA. Due to the pandemic, they attended remotely, and Crook presented the commissioning sets on behalf of the chapter.

“We welcome these new officers into our ranks and congratulate them for their achievements,” said retired Army Col. Steve Bond, the vice president of MOAACC.