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VMI Commissioning & Graduation

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by HMQ, May 14, 2012.

  1. HMQ

    HMQ 5-Year Member

    Jan 21, 2010
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    Congratulations to all those cadets (and their parents :thumb:) who are commissioning tomorrow, and to all those graduating on Wednesday! Kudos to all on your accomplishments - and best of luck to you all.

    P.S. To future VMI cadets and parents, you can mark your calendars now: commissioning is always on May 15th in honor of the Battle of New Market (May 15, 1864) and consequently, graduation is always on May 16th.
  2. bruno

    bruno 5-Year Member Retired Staff Member

    Feb 2, 2008
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    Good job class of 2012- we're all proud of you- you did well! Good luck in your future careers in the service, in civilian jobs or in grad school.

    (PS: I'm not sure of the accuracy of that last paragraph - while Graduation is never on or before May 15th because of New Market Day, I don't think that it is always on the 16th as my graduation was on May 17th - which is also Norwegian Independence Day.)
  3. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

    Jan 4, 2011
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    just curious, is the May 15 actual commissioning date or just the commissioning ceremony?
  4. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad 5-Year Member

    Apr 6, 2010
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  5. cisco

    cisco 5-Year Member

    May 11, 2011
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    I'm curious about this too, also if graduation/commissioning day also marks the end of the school year and for summer to begin for the lower classmen?
  6. bjkuds

    bjkuds 5-Year Member

    Oct 25, 2010
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    After graduation the Corps is dismissed for the summer.
  7. larry2013

    larry2013 5-Year Member

    Nov 29, 2008
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    This year, as with last year, May 14th was the parade that turned the cadet leadership positions over from the graduating class to the then 2nd class, about to be 1st class, then commissioning was May 15, graduation May 16th- immediately after which the entire corps of cadets are dismissed for the summer.
    My son is a Navy ROTC, and for them (assume its the same for other services but will only speak for Navy) - again this summer, the Navy calls it the upcoming year - so this summer is called his 1st class summer cruise - so my take is that once graduation occurs, the cadets are considered to be the next year up.
    larrys mom
  8. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 5-Year Member

    Dec 15, 2008
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    I can't answer this with certainty, but I can tell you what I saw on May 15th.

    At 9:00am, there was a Joint Service Commissioning Ceremony. All commissioning cadets wore their Class A's/Service Dress and took their seats down on the floor level of Cameron Hall (the basketball court) with the Corps of Cadets, friends, and family sitting in the stands. ROTC Instructors were also down on the floor level, sitting behind the commissionees.

    Each branch had a distinguished guest, so the stage was full of sweet flags with all kinds of stars. Army went first, with their guest speaker providing a few words of wisdom and then administering the oath to each of the commissioning Army Cadets in unison. I think the Marine Corps was next, then Navy, then the Air Force.

    Once this was done, each branch had their own individual swearing in ceremonies at a different location. The cadets get to choose who swears them in (as long as it's an officer), they typically have family or close friends pin on their butter bars, and then they have an enlisted service member (or occasionally a VMI cadet) render their first salute.

    Since I'm in the Class of 2009, the Class of 2012 are my rats class. A lot of my Brother Rats came back for commissioning and graduation. Several of the brand new 2LTs/Ensigns had their dykes swear them in, which was very cool. My rat commissioned Air Force, and she had her brother (who's VMI Class of '05) swear her in.

    After her swearing in, she walked over to a table that was off to the side and signed a bunch of paperwork. This is the part I'm not certain about, but I believe it was at that point that she legally became a 2d Lt in the United States Air Force.

    Hope this helps, for those who know more of the technicalities than I do!

    Btw, here's the link to the photo album. That's her in 24, 25, and 32. :smile:

  9. sprog

    sprog 5-Year Member

    Mar 10, 2009
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    For the date of rank, it was a split difference between the date of commissioning and the entrance onto active duty. For me, I was commissioned in May and entered onto AD in the Air Force in July. Sometime in June was my date of rank for promotion purposes, etc.

    I'm pretty sure that's the MO for most ROTC programs. My experiences were several years ago, however, so it might have changed.

    The underclassmen are released for their summer furlough at the conclusion of the commencement ceremony. Whether there are military obligations in the summer depends entirely on if the cadet is pursuing a commission with one of the branches. I had something Air Force-related for my three VMI summers; however, I still had plenty of time off (save for the one summer when I did a study abroad in the UK...was pretty busy that year).
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

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