Eight LSU Graduates to be Commissioned with ROTC Programs on Thursday, Dec. 13
BATON ROUGE – Eight LSU students projected to graduate at LSU's fall commencement will be commissioned through either the LSU Army ROTC program or the Southern University Naval ROTC program in the Fall Commissioning Ceremony at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Dalton J. Woods Auditorium in the Energy, Coast & Environment Building.
Five LSU students will be commissioned as second lieutenants from the LSU Army ROTC program, and three LSU students will be commissioned from Southern University's Navy ROTC program. These cadets and midshipmen will be commissioned as second lieutenants or ensigns in the U.S. Armed Services before receiving their degrees during fall commencement on Friday.
Retired Maj. Gen. Huntington “Hunt” Downer Jr. will be the guest speaker at the ceremony. Downer began his military career as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1968 and subsequently received a direct appointment to second lieutenant with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1971. He later joined the Louisiana Army National Guard and was commissioned as a first lieutenant with the Judge Advocate General Corps. During Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Downer was activated with the 256th Infantry Brigade and assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate’s Office, 5th Infantry Division out of Fort Polk.
Downer’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters and the Kuwait Liberation Medal.
Also a seven-term member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Downer served from 1978-2004. He served as Speaker Pro Tempore’ from 1988-1992 and the Speaker of the House from 1996-2000 before being inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in 2007. Gov. Kathleen Blanco appointed Downer the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, and later as her legislative director in the Office of the Governor.
For additional information on the LSU Army and Air Force ROTC programs or the Southern University Naval ROTC program, contact Linda Warmsley, assistant director of recruiting and enrollment in LSU's Department of Military Science, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-578-3567 or 225-578-2371.