Military Promotion Ceremony marks first in-person graduation week celebration

Thirteen members of the Class of 2021 were promoted in the United States Air Force, Army and Navy during Campbell University’s first 2021 commencement week ceremony.

In the first university in-person ceremony since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, thirteen candidates for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine received promotions in their respective branch of the military today in Hobson Performing Arts Center.

“Congratulations to you all,” said Dr. J. Bradley Creed, university president.  “My father was in the medical corp serving as a dental surgeon.  You are professionals in medicine and professionals in the military – that is unique.  Professionals serve in teams with colleagues – they work together, they collaborate, they have each others’ back, and they hold each other accountable. What holds all professions together is the commitment to service, to the common good, and to human flourishing. May God bless you as you journey forward to serve.”

Dr. Jim Powers, associate dean for clinical integration, also provided words of welcome to the graduates and their guests.

“Your dedication, your sacrifice, your care of our service men, women, and their families will be the most rewarding and meaningful experiences of your life.  I am so proud of all of you and thankful for you.  Congratulations!”

Col. Christopher Jarvis, Commander of Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, NC, brought the keynote address to the soon to be physicians ten of whom will complete their medical residency training in a military health center.  He shared reflections on the changes he’s seen in military from the end of the Cold War when he entered the United States Military Academy through post 9/11 and now as cyber security and operations are evolving on the contemporary battlefield.

“The inevitable is change.  I don’t think anyone four years ago when you were entering medical school thought ‘wow, my 4th year is going to be a little different – there is going to be a pandemic’.”

COL Christopher G. Jarvis

Col. Jarvis also reminded the graduates of how they will experience change in the practice of medicine – from tourniquets on the battlefield to growth and advancement at hospitals and facilities.  

“We are charged with sustaining the health of the force…to preserve the fighting strength for battle.  For frontline fighters, they understand they may get injured, but what they want is quality health care when they get back – someone to be there to take care of them as well as to their families.”

After the keynote address, Major Jared A Chandler (’04), assistant aviation operations officer of the 18th Airborne Corps, called the candidates to Attention to Orders followed by their respective service branch Oath of Office.  Dr. Brian Kessler, dean of the school of osteopathic medicine, then provided closing remarks.

“It was a privilege to be part of this special ceremony today – to have my first ceremony as dean be not only the university’s first in our return to in-person celebrations, but also for it to be the ceremony that celebrates those going on to serve patients who give their lives in service to our country.”

“You are committing yourselves to be leaders at a moment when we need exceptional role models and advocates. You have chosen a path of service. A path that recognizes true moral character, honor, and a military course with a foundational principle, to serve. Your selflessness is your commitment to protect and defend others. You have opted to lead at a time that gives you exceptional opportunities and responsibilities in the face of constant change.”

The candidates for Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who took an oath of office today included:

Air Force
Augustus Floyd
Hunter Gallogly
Ashley Murphy Shaw
Zoey Pascual

Army
Adrienne Coursey
Rosina Darden

Navy
Jon McGill
Joseph McNamara
John Petersen