NATCHITOCHES – Following spring commencement ceremonies, seven cadets of Northwestern State University’s 72nd Demon Battalion were commissioned Thursday, May 12 as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. The cadets completed additional military training as well as their academic requirements to graduate and commission.
The seven took the Oath of Office during Northwestern’s final graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. May 12 and were commissioned in a separate ceremony that followed, joined by family and friends. LTC Joshua R. Drake, professor of Military Science, administered the oath on the commencement stage.
The new officers are 2LT Colby Hennigan, 2LT Anthony Cantrell, 2LT Kayla Graham, 2LT Tyler Iverson, 2LT Caleb Krikorian, 2LT Joseph Orchi and 2LT Seth Ozsoy.
2LT Hennigan earned a Master of Science in Homeland Security. He has been selected for service in the U.S. Army Reserve. After completion of the Transportation Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, Virginia, he will serve as a Mobility Officer with the 342nd Movement Control Detachment Team in Baton Rouge.
2LT Cantrell commanded the Demon Battalion this past year and, having scored within the top 20 percent of cadets nationwide, was named a Distinguished Military Graduate. He earned a Master of Science in Homeland Security. He has been selected for active duty in the Military Intelligence Corps with a branch detail to Infantry. 2LT Cantrell’s first assignment will be determined during his Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, Georgia, later this summer.
2LT Graham graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Minor in Military Leadership. After completion of the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leader Course, Fort Lee, Virginia, she will serve in the Louisiana Army National Guard with Company A, 199th Brigade Support Battalion in Jonesboro.
2LT Iverson earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Concentration in Biomedical and a Minor in Military Leadership. He has been selected to serve on active duty. After completion of the Ordnance Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Lee, his initial duty station will be Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska.
2LT Krikorian graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies with a Concentration in Computer and Natural Science and a Minor in Military Leadership. After completion of the Armor Basic Officer Leader Course at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning, he will continue to serve in the Louisiana Army National Guard. His initial assignment is Scout Platoon Leader with A Troop, 2nd Squadron, 108th Cavalry, in Natchitoches.
2LT Orchi graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2021 with a Bachelor of General Studies and a Minor in Social Science. He has been selected to serve on active duty and will attend the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Leader Course at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, Arizona, this June. His initial duty station will be Fort Hood, Texas.
2LT Ozsoy graduated Cum Laude and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. He will serve in the Louisiana Army National Guard. After completion of the Military Police Basic Officer Leader Course at the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, he will serve as a Platoon Leader with the 773rd Military Police Battalion in Lake Charles.
COL Aristotle Vaseliades, Commander, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Fort Polk, offered remarks and encouragement to the new officers. COL Vaseliades is a 1997 graduate of Florida Southern College where he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps.
During the ceremony, LTC Drake noted, “Today marks the beginning of a new way of life for you all. Commissioning as an officer in the United States Army is not only an honor, but a privilege. You will soon be entrusted with the lives of Soldiers who have volunteered to serve their country and fight for the freedoms of our nation.” He added, “This responsibility may seem daunting now, but rest assured that the Army has – and will continue – to train you to be ready.”
Information on NSU’s Department of Military Science and ROTC is available at https://rotc.nsula.edu/.