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by Jessica S. McDunn, University Relations


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 ROTC program.

“ 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 before me.”

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.


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