ROTC Cadets Transition to U.S. Air Force Officers at LMU Commissioning Ceremony

Seven cadets representing five local colleges and universities commissioned to second lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force during a June 18 ceremony at Loyola Marymount University.

Nearly 150 people attended the event on Regents Terrace, marking the officers’ completion of a rigorous four-year Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at LMU. The graduates, who will move on to become pilots, air battle managers, combat systems operators and more, participated in weekly trainings, military drills, classes and leadership sessions over the course of their college careers.

The Class of 2016 graduates of LMU’s Detachment 40 are:

· Nathaniel N. Lee of Loyola Marymount University, mechanical engineering
· Ryan J. Rodriguez of UC Irvine, chemistry
· Gabriel J. Malasig of Biola University, political science
· Michael A. Castilleja of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, aerospace engineering
· Derek K. Avina of Cal State Long Beach, humanities
· Jack Robinson of Cal State Long Beach, mechanical engineering
· Joshua C. Beardsley of Cal State Long Beach, aerospace engineering

Lt. Col. William A. Holland, Detachment 40 commander, delivered the keynote address. Lt. Col. Holland received his commission as a second lieutenant at the University of Georgia and since 1994 has served as an instructor, flight commander, Headquarters Air Force Space Command officer and squadron director of operations, among other roles.

The AFROTC is a military leadership program designed to give men and women an opportunity to become Air Force officers while completing a degree. Graduates commit to serving four years as active duty Air Force officers.