ROTC student Karl Kadon commissioned at White House

Author: Arts and Letters

Karl Kadon, a University of Notre Dame ROTC student from Cincinnati, Ohio, was among 54 graduates commissioned by President Bush in a special White House ceremony Thursday (May 17).

“I couldn’t believe it when I was told I was one of the ones chosen,” Kadon told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It’s an unbelievable honor.”

A political science major and Naval ROTC midshipman, Kaden was selected to participate in the first joint ROTC commissioning ceremony at the White House because of his academic standing and outstanding performance in Notre Dame’s ROTC program.

The ceremony was part of a Department of Defense effort to highlight ROTC, a program that allows students to earn their college degrees while preparing for service in one of the U.S. military branches.

In his address, President Bush said, “ROTC starts by identifying men and women of leadership and ability. It then prepares them morally, mentally and physically for their responsibilities as officers in the finest armed forces in the world. As part of this preparation, you have been taught a way of life that elevates service above self. You have learned that honor is not just a word, it is a sacred inheritance to be preserved and handed down. You have learned that courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to do the right thing in spite of your fears. And you have learned that much is expected of our military officers.”

The oath was administered by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the ceremony also was attended by Pete Geren, acting Secretary of the Army; Gen. Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. George Casey, Army Chief of Staff; and Sen. Benjamin Nelson, D-Neb.

Kaden plans to enter the U.S. Marine Corps and, after participating in Notre Dame’s commissioning ceremony this weekend, will report to The Basic School in Quantico, Va.

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on May 18, 2007.