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Seton Hall University

Saluting Pirate Battalion's Newest Second Lieutenants  

Second Lieutenants

Pirate Battalion's newest second lieutenants celebrate. Photo Credit: Ashley Wilson

On May 12, Seton Hall celebrated New Jersey's 17 newest second lieutenants at the Pirate Battalion annual Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Commissioning Ceremony at Jubilee Auditorium on the South Orange campus of the University.

"It's been a profound honor to be able to help to educate these men and women. We're proud to welcome them to the profession of arms," said Major Russell P. Lemler, Professor of Military Science and Department Chair.

Brigadier Gen. Edward Chrystal, '98 alumnus and Deputy Adjutant General, New Jersey Army National Guard, praised the second lieutenants, congratulating their families, and sharing, "I have a tremendous amount of respect for you. You stand between the United States and all those that would do us harm."

After administering the Oath of Office, family and friends participated in the pinning of Second Lieutenant Bars on the uniforms. Next was the traditional Silver Dollar Salute. Each newly commissioned second lieutenant proudly handed a silver dollar to the first non-commissioned officer, who saluted him. That person is typically selected by the newly commissioned second lieutenant as a sign of respect and gratitude to the officer for training him.

The ceremony brought about a sense of eagerness for the 17 graduates.

Sasha Pierre-Louis said, "My journey to be an army officer began when I was 14 and attended Oak Ridge Military Academy in North Carolina. I always wanted to be in the Army. It was the Diplomacy and International Relations program that brought me to Seton Hall."

A member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Iota Rho Chapter and Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Program, he initiated many community service programs including Sandwich Saturdays, raising funds to personally provide hundreds of sandwiches to those in need at Newark Penn Station. He was an active volunteer at the Community FoodBank of NJ and is running a clothing and food drive for Haiti.

"I don't believe titles make the leader; the leader makes the title. No one else's blueprint fits for you. You cannot fit anyone else's standard but your own," he shared. His next stop is the Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, to be an engineer officer.

Marie and Sasha Pierre-Louis

Photo of Marie and Sasha Pierre-Louis. Photo credit: Ashley Wilson.

"Today is a milestone. My youngest is commissioned in the U.S. Army. It is an honor, every parent's dream come to fruition," said Marie Pierre-Louis, Sasha's mother.

The Pirate Battalion includes 24 colleges and universities in northern New Jersey. The 2017 Commissionees include:

  • Kirstin L. Bennet, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Armor Officer
  • Garrett T. Bluish, Seton Hall University, National Guard Signal Officer 
  • John B. Chideau, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Infantry Officer 
  • Joseph N. Dolson, cross-enrolled w/Montclair State University, National Guard Ordnance Officer  
  • Evan A. Doolittle, Seton Hall University, National Guard Officer 
  • Nicholas A. Keyes, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Infantry Officer 
  • Alexander Y. Kim, cross-enrolled w/Rutgers University, Active Duty Ordnance Officer 
  • Joseph A. Klimas, Seton Hall University, National Guard Infantry Officer 
  • Quinn J. Laidig, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Infantry Officer 
  • Erik E. Nyman, cross-enrolled w/NJ Institute of Technology, National Guard Field Artillery Officer 
  • Daniel J. Osika, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Field Artillery Officer 
  • Sasha A. Pierre-Louis, Seton Hall University, Active Duty Engineer Officer 
  • Carrick O. Porter, crossed-enrolled w/Sevens Institute of Technology, Active Duty Field Artillery Officer 
  • Jeffrey D. Prol, Jr., Seton Hall University, Active Duty Infantry Officer 
  • William R. Sanchez, crossed-enrolled w/Saint Peter's University, Army Reserves Engineering Officer 
  • John M. Verdi, Seton Hall University, National Guard Infantry Officer 
  • Mark F. Von Cappeln, cross-enrolled w/Rutgers University, Active Duty Field Artillery Officer

For more photos, please click here.

Categories: Nation and World

Flickr Pirate Battalion 2017 Commissioning

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For more information, please contact:

  • Laurie Pine
  • (973) 378-2638
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