• New MIT graduate and naval officer Piko A. Neal salutes the flag during the ROTC commissioning ceremony held Friday, June 9, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Boston.

    Photo / Dan Bersak

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  • Rear Adm. (Select) Tom Eccles hands Ensign David Legault his Navy commission on Friday, June 9. Earlier in the day, Legault received his S.B. in nuclear science and engineering.

    Photo / Dan Bersak

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13 MIT grads commissioned in Armed Forces


For most MIT seniors, last week's festivities culminated with Commencement exercises in Killian Court. But, for a baker's dozen, the hectic week had an extra special finish as they were commissioned as officers in the U.S. Armed Forces on Friday, June 9.

MIT alumnus Rear Adm. (Select) Thomas J. Eccles served as guest speaker for the commissioning ceremony, which was held at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Boston. Distinguished guests included President Susan Hockfield and Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Hastings.

Eccles holds four degrees from MIT: the S.B. in electrical engineering, S.M. in mechanical engineering, the naval engineer degree, and the S.M. in management of technology from MIT's Sloan School of Management. He is currently the program manager for Advanced Undersea Systems and responsible for the research and development submarines NR-1, USS Dolphin and USS Jimmy Carter, as well as various other submarine platforms.

Members of the four-year Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at MIT come from four branches of service - the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. The cadets and midshipmen took their oaths of office at the ceremony.

All newly commissioned officers receive orders to report to their next duty station shortly after commissioning.

The Navy and Marine Corps commissioned nine officers: Ensign Peter Jaglom will report to Pensacola, Fla., for Naval Aviation School; Ensign David Legault will report to Naval Nuclear Power School as a submarine officer; Ensign Kevin Mears will attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., as a submarine officer; Ensign Piko Neal will report to a destroyer in Everett, Wash., as a surface warfare officer; Ensign Richard Pell will report to Naval Nuclear Power School as a submarine officer; 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Persons will report to the Basic School as a Marine officer; Ensign John Rogers will report to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., as a surface warfare officer; 2nd Lt. Nicholas Villarruel will report to the Basic School as a Marine officer; and Ensign Meredith Ward will report to the Naval Reactors Headquarters as a naval reactors engineering officer.

The Air Force commissioned three new officers: 2nd Lt. Jeremy Conrad will report to the Airborne Laser System Program Office as a project development engineer; 2nd Lt. Chana Greene will report to the Airborne Laser System Program Office as a physicist; and 2nd Lt. David Newell will report to Warner Robins Air Force Base as an aeronautical engineer.

The Army commissioned 2nd Lt. Matthew David Smith, who will report to the Military Intelligence Officer Basic Course as an engineering officer.


Topics: Security studies and military, Commencement, Students

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