By Joe Garvey

Eight Navy and Marine Corps ROTC students, including seven from Old Dominion University, became officers at ODU's annual Fall Commissioning Ceremony.

New ensigns and one 2nd lieutenant swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" during a virtual ceremony on Dec. 11.

"It is easily said that you stand apart from your other classmates by the career choice you have made. But this is not merely a career choice, it is an answer to a calling," said Robert Clark, director, military activities liaison and special projects at ODU. "A calling from a grateful nation and its people. I can think of no greater sacrifice than to make the courageous decision to join the forces that will protect the freedoms we all hold so dear."

Clark, who served in the Navy for more than 26 years, noted that just 1% of the population serves in the U.S. military.

"You are about to have enormous responsibility thrust upon your shoulders, responsibility that will undoubtedly build your character and will test your mettle as a leader," Clark said. "Don't take this responsibility lightly, for the actions you take in the future could mean the difference between life and death. There will be many daunting challenges ahead, especially with this pandemic, but look at these challenges as opportunities to excel and learn even more."

Six ODU students were commissioned as ensigns in the U.S. Navy. They are listed with their hometowns, major, military position and posting:

Elise Ursula Thompson, Manassas, Virginia, cybersecurity, Surface Warfare.

Lindsey Elizabeth Terra, Norfolk, mechanical engineering, Surface Warfare.

Christopher Scott Kelly, Schertz, Texas, civil engineering, Civil Engineer Corps.

Tara Dawn Foust, Yokosuka, Japan, electrical engineering, Surface Warfare.

Moira Christine Bui, Haymarket, Virginia, biology, Surface Warfare.

Kirsten Marie Cavanah, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, occupational and technical studies, Student Naval Aviator.

Gavin J. Hiemstra, Prior Lake, Minnesota, criminal justice, USMC.

Also earning a commission in the Navy was Hampton University's Michaela Alexis Mosley. She's from Newport News, majored in business management and will be stationed at Surface Warfare.

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