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NEWS | June 27, 2024

ROTC cadets from Puerto Rico become leaders in the U.S. Army

By Carlos Cuebas U.S. Army Garrison Fort Buchanan

Twenty-seven college students from the island of Puerto Rico became officers in the U.S. Army, Jun 21, after completing the academic and training requirements of the Army Reserve Officers’ Officers' Training Corps (ROTC).

"Upon graduation from college, this is the final step for these young men and women to become officers in the U.S. Army. In ROTC, we only commission those students who demonstrate the appropriate character and qualifications to be officers," said Lt. Col. Phillip Vaughn, Professor of Military Sciences in Puerto Rico.

Bryan Pagan Agostini was one of the cadets who were commissioned during the ceremony.

"My dad always told me that no one wrote stories about cowards. That advice inspired me to face my fears and move forward, even when I sometimes felt I could not do some things. Today I finish this stage to become an officer in the United States Army," said Pagan Agostini, who will now attend the Engineer Basic Officer Leaders Course at Fort Leanard Wood, MO.

The other students that received their commission were as follows: 2nd Lts. Kevin Aquino Alvarez, Jorge Aviles Miranda, Grace Bernier Melendez, Sebastian Borges Trinidad, Guillermo Falero Vazquez, Katherine Flores Vazquez, Jean Garcia Espada, Dwight Gonzalez Vigo, Adrián Hernandez Velazquez, Harry Lopez Ubinas, Guillermo Luna David, Reynaldo Marin Cruz, Junelly Marrero Vega, Carol Martell Rodriguez, Jormanny Montes, Angel Oyola Rodriguez, Pedro Quintana Martinez, Jeyra Resto Calero, Jesus Rodriguez Ayala, Aleandro Roman Sola, Luis Segarra Berrios, Ian Alicea Rivera, Adriana Mojica Castro, Jan Otero De Jesus, Amalis Encarnacion Negron, and Andrea Reyes Gonzalez.

The students graduated from various universities around the island, including the University of Puerto Rico, Ana G. Mendez University, Interamerican University, and NUC University. Twenty-two officers will serve in the active military, three in the National Guard and two in the Army Reserve. All cadets belonged to the Rio Piedras ROTC battalion.

There are two main ways to join the U.S. Army: as an officer and enlisted. The military trains officers to be leaders who plan missions and inspire Soldiers. Meanwhile, enlisted members are technical experts and leaders with the skills necessary to complete the mission. Both functions are essential for the military.

There are more than 30,000 Army ROTC cadets enrolled in 274 ROTC programs at major universities in the United States.

In Puerto Rico, the ROTC has two battalions: one at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, which covers universities in the metropolitan area and the eastern coast of the island, and one at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, which covers the Northwest, West, and South areas of the island.