The Department of Military Science and Leadership at Arkansas State University commissioned nine ROTC cadets for military duty Friday, May 12, during a ceremony attended by family, friends and university staff.


The new officers also received their university diplomas during Arkansas State’s Spring Commencement the following day.


Col. Robert G. Dixon, district engineer and commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District, was the guest speaker for the officer commissioning ceremony.


Lt. Col. Michael Fellure, professor of military science, administered the oath to the new officers:


· Briona L. Barbee of North Little Rock was commissioned second lieutenant into the Army Reserve, medical service corps. Barbee, who completed a master’s of business administration degree, was pinned with the gold bars of a second lieutenant by her parents, Jerome and Claudette Barbee and her sister Lakesha Gardner.


The others are: Brian A. Busick of Pocahontas, David J. George of Cherokee Village, Benjamin S. Holder of Marmaduke, Michael D. Kirby of Hinesville, Ga.,, Andrew M. Matheny of Bryant, Justin T. Megoloff of Little Rock, Tiffany R. Smith of Fairfield Bay and Tyler H. Tomerlin of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was commissioned into the Arkansas Army National Guard, 875th Engineer Battalion. Tomerlin, who completed a bachelor’s degree in criminology, was pinned by his parents, Kent and Candace Tomerlin.


Bar pinning is a tradition in which a newly promoted soldier receives their new rank from those who played a significant role in his/her mentorship, development and support.