Cadet David Song, a Hawai‘i
Pacific University graduate who earned his master of arts in
diplomacy and military studies May 16, was commissioned a second
lieutenant by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in a May 17
White House ceremony attended by President George W. Bush and
other political and military leaders.
One of 55 cadets and midshipmen from across the nation in Army,
Navy, and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs,
Song is a former enlisted soldier who completed a combat tour
in Afghanistan on a civil affairs team before joining UH’s
This is truly an honor to be part of the ceremony and represent
my family and the Army ROTC program in Hawai‘i,” said
Song. “I had the option to either go to the Officer Candidate
School or into ROTC. I wanted to further my education and develop
myself as a leader. The ROTC program in Hawai‘i offered
me an excellent opportunity to seek both.”
Song attributes much of his work ethic to his parents, Bin So
and Jung Hee Song, who attended the ceremony.
My parents emigrated from South Korea to the United States,” said
Song. “They came here seeking a better life. I owe this
country my freedom, and I want to pay debt to those who went
Of the 55 men and women commissioned as officers by Defense Secretary
Gates, 23 were Army ROTC cadets, representing the more than 28,000
young people who have made the Army ROTC part of their college
experiences. Since its inception in 1916, more than 500,000 men
and women have become Army officers through the Army ROTC program.
Army ROTC is an elective curriculum, taken along with required
college classes by students at nearly 1,500 colleges and universities
throughout the nation.
Hawai‘i Pacic University is the state’s largest private
university with more than 8,000 students from all 50 states and
more than 100 countries.