Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Mark W. Huddleston

University of New Hampshire
Strafford Room, Memorial Union Building

May 22, 2009

I am doubly honored to be here today to give welcoming remarks to this commissioning ceremony.

I am honored first as the president of one of the more than 1100 colleges and universities in America that has had the good sense to partner with the United States Army and thereby help shape the most talented, dedicated, and well-educated officer corps the world has ever known. The American military is both the ultimate line of defense for American values and a reflection of American values. All of our citizens are not soldiers, but all of our soldiers are citizens. We are deeply indebted to the ROTC program for ensuring that this remains always true.

I am also honored to be here as an American citizen. Our country has been actively at war, in defense of our way of life, for most of this new century. Thousands of our young men and women have died; thousands more have been wounded. Although our enemies are implacable and ruthless, our cause is just, and our strength is great. As you leave our green lawns and peaceful halls, and take your place as America’s citizen-soldiers, know that we are proud of you and we are deeply grateful for your service.