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NASA Administrator Welcomes New Class of Officers at Commissioning Ceremony

NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden reflected on his 34-year career as a Marine and offered encouragement to a new class of fellow officers at the Joint Army ROTC and Hampton Roads Naval ROTC commissioning ceremony at Old Dominion on May 10.

Bolden said there were times during his career as a military pilot and his career with NASA, which included four space shuttle missions, when he wasn't sure he was going to return safely.

"Military service is like no other career in the world," Bolden, NASA's 12th administrator, told the new officers. "Through NASA, I'm proud to be part of an organization that has featured military members from the first Mercury rocket tests to wheels down on the last space shuttle mission."

In introducing Bolden, ODU President John R. Broderick told the new officers that unique challenges await them each and every day in their new military command.

"You will learn about the uniqueness of each of the men and women who will be placed in your capable charge. You will learn hard and sometimes difficult lessons about the leadership role that you hold. And most importantly, you will learn that the career path you have chosen has led you to something that is much bigger than yourself," Broderick said.

"That being said, Gen. Bolden, I am confident that today we are delivering to the armed forces a cadre of soon-to-be commissioned officers who are more than equal to the tasks before them."

The Hampton Roads Naval ROTC, commanded by Capt. Thomas V. Halley Jr., was founded in 1982 and brought into being an innovative concept known as the NROTC Consortium. Under this concept, Hampton Roads was the first unit to offer complete NROTC programs at three separate institutions. The command has permanent instructors, staff, office space and training facilities at each university; yet the unit and its battalion of midshipmen and officer candidates are integrated into a single command structure. The Hampton Roads Consortium is the fourth-largest NROTC unit in the nation.

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Published on: May 31, 2013