CLEMSON — Four Clemson University Army and five Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) students will be commissioned as second lieutenants in a ceremony in the Tillman Hall auditorium at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Maj. Gen. H.D. Polumbo Jr., commander of the Ninth Air Force, Air Combat Command, at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, will be the guest speaker. The Ninth Air Force comprises eight active-duty wings and three direct-reporting units in the Southeastern United States with more than 400 aircraft and 29,000 active-duty and civilian personnel.

The commissioning candidates for the ceremony and their military specialties are:

U.S. Army

  • Charlie Hachat of Lawrenceville, Georgia, engineering
  • Stephen Culleton of Florence, air defense artillery
  • Jhordan Figueroa of Simpsonville, engineering
  • Stephen Smallwood of Clemson, aviation

U.S. Air Force

  • Brandon Bagwell of Simpsonville, intelligence
  • Benjamin Harmon of Easley, pilot training
  • Sophie Harper of Mount Pleasant, remote pilot training
  • Nicholas Kuzjak of Charlottesville, Virginia, pilot training
  • Katherine Moore of Sumter, civil engineering

After they have taken their oaths of office, the new lieutenants will move outside to participate in a Silver Dollar Salute ceremony at Military Heritage Plaza. The ceremony marks the first salute a new officer receives from an enlisted service member. As a sign of mutual respect, the officer presents the enlisted member with a silver dollar.

Clemson’s ROTC program was established as an integral part of Clemson’s academic curriculum beginning in 1893 with the institution’s first full-time academic year of operation. The program provides unique leadership training and management experience and helps students develop the qualities necessary to lead U.S. soldiers and airmen in a wide variety of assignments.

The ceremony is open to the public.

— With Maj. Stacey Wiggins

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