June 4, 2004

Contact: Army Lt. Col Brian DeToy, (785) 864-1105; Navy Capt. Richard High, (785) 864-1185; Air Force Col. Michael Lee (785) 864-4676.

KU ROTC commissions 22 new officers in joint ceremony

LAWRENCE -- Eighteen University of Kansas May graduates and four graduates of area colleges and universities were commissioned as officers in the armed forces during ceremonies May 24 in the Kansas Union at KU.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway welcomed speaker Maj. Gen. Marianne Mathewson-Chapman, special assistant to the director of the Army National Guard in Washington, D.C; the cadets; their family and friends; and other guests.

A former deputy to the Army surgeon general originally from Kansas City, Mo., Mathewson-Chapman holds a master's degree in nursing and was the first woman in the Army National Guard promoted to the rank of major general. Mathewson-Chapman, who is in the U.S. Army Reserves, is inactive and is eligible for future assignments.

As a civilian, Mathewson-Chapman is the nurse executive for the Veterans Administration (VA). She is assigned to the VA Acute Care Strategic Health Group and as senior VA liaison to the Defense Department's Tricare Management Activity (TMA and Health Affairs) in Washington, D.C.

Mathewson-Chapman, who served in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia in 1990-91, discussed how the education the new officers had received in college and in ROTC programs had prepared them for the opportunities and challenges they will face.

The new officers have completed requirements of KU Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC units. At the ceremonies, each officer was commissioned by the chair of his or her program: Col. Brian DeToy for the Army, Capt. Richard High for the Navy and Marines, and Col. Michael D. Lee for the Air Force. Mathewson-Chapman administered the oath of office, and a family member or close friend pinned lieutenant or ensign rank on the new officer's shoulder.

In addition to training KU students in Reserve Officers' Training Programs, KU's ROTC programs also host cadets at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Baker University in Baldwin City, the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Washburn University in Topeka and Mid-America Nazarene University in Olathe.

Two Washburn graduates, Peter Fuller and David Osborne; a St. Mary graduate, William Chuber; and a Baker graduate, Matthew Herzog, all completed Army ROTC training at KU and were commissioned with the KU graduates.

The newly commissioned KU graduates, their degrees, parents' names (when available), their assignments and hometowns are:

BARBER COUNTY
From Medicine Lodge
M. Craig Booth, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in biology, son of Kim and Cindy Booth, Ramah N.M..; Medicine Lodge High School graduate and Pratt Community College; assigned as an info-comm officer at Cannon AFB, Clovis, N.M.

ELLSWORTH COUNTY
From Ellsworth
Douglas Jesse Brownback, Army lieutenant, bachelor's degree in education, son of David and Cheryl Brownback; Ellsworth Senior High School graduate; Brownback will go into the infantry, where he will attend his officer basic course at Fort Benning, Ga.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe
Drew McKenna Gonterwitz, Navy ensign, bachelor's degree in general studies-political science, son of Mike and Sheila Gonterwitz; St. Thomas Aquinas High School graduate; assigned to flight training at Pensacola, Fla.

From Spring Hill
Shelley Rae Viles, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in journalism, daughter of Tracy and Becky Viles; Spring Hill High School graduate; assigned as a logistics readiness officer at Nellis Air Force Base in Lost Wages, Nev.

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Leavenworth
Lisa Azhar Baghal, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering; Leavenworth High School graduate and Kansas City Community College; assigned as an aeronautical engineer at the AF Lab at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, N.M.

RILEY COUNTY
From Manhattan
Kelly Michelle Ryan, Army lieutenant, doctor of pharmacy degree, daughter of Michael and Debra Goreham; Manhattan High School graduate; assigned to the Medical Service Corps and will attend officer basic course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

SALINE COUNTY
From Salina and Joplin, Mo.
Richard Adam Cole, Navy ensign, bachelor's degree in architectural engineering, son of Mark and Rhonda Cole; Joplin High School graduate; assigned to the USS Normandy, Norfolk, Va.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Wichita
Jeremy Donell Avant, Army lieutenant, bachelor's degree in economics, son of Walter and Dion Avant; Wichita Heights High School graduate and Neosho County Community College in Chanute; Avant will go into the infantry, where he will attend his officer basic course at Fort Benning, Ga.
Katherine Mae Luke, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in exercise science; Campus High School graduate; assigned as a logistics readiness officer at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nev.
Justin Jacob Sorg, Navy ensign, bachelor's degree in political science, son of Mary Sorg; Kapaun-Mt. Carmel High School graduate; assigned to the USS Prebble, San Diego, Calif.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka
Dustin Prockish, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in atmospheric science; Woodland Park (Colo.) High School graduate; assigned as a weather officer at Scott AFB, Belleville, Ill.

WYANDOTTE COUNTY
From Kansas City
Jessica Louise Kobe, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in general studies-history, daughter of Mike and Adlene Kobe; Piper High School graduate and Kansas City Community College; assigned as a personnel officer at Offutt AFB, Omaha, Neb.

IOWA
From Waukee
Michael Dale Ryan, Navy Ensign, bachelor's degree in general studies-American studies and sociology, son of Ron and Deb Ryan; Waukee Community High School graduate; assigned to the USS Harpers Ferry, Sasebo, Japan.

LOUISIANA
From Leesville
David Leroy Nobles, Navy ensign, bachelor's degree in journalism, son of Dave and Linda Nobles of Lebanon, Mo.; Leesville High School graduate and Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.; assigned to the USS Oakhill, Little Creek, Va.

MINNESOTA
From Eden Prairie
David Daniel Mahoney, Navy ensign, bachelor's degree in business administration, son of Tim and Ginny Mahoney; Eden Prairie High School graduate; assigned to the USS Jarrett, San Diego, Calif.

MISSOURI
From Joplin
Amber Marie Jones, Marine second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in cognitive psychology, daughter of LuEtta Jones, Seneca, Mo.; Joplin High School graduate; assigned to basic school in Quantico, Va.

From Joplin, Mo., and Salina
Richard Adam Cole. See Saline County, Kan.

OKLAHOMA
From Blackwell
Jesse Lee Wood, Army lieutenant, bachelor's degree in computer science, son of Stephen and Peggy Wood, Blackwell, Okla.; Blackwell High School graduate; assigned to the field artillery, he will attend officer basic course at Fort Sill, Okla.

TEXAS
From Belton
Jason Christopher Hardy, Air Force second lieutenant, bachelor's degree in general studies-sociology, son of Stan and Brenda Hardy, Ozawkie, Kan.; attended Johnson County Community College; assigned as a security forces officer at Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas.

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