Eight Mercyhurst University graduating seniors will be commissioned into the U.S. Army as second lieutenants on Saturday, May 17, during an evening ceremony at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.
Two seniors — Eric Pelosi and William Margiotta — will graduate with special honors. Pelosi has earned the status of Distinguished Military Graduate for ranking in the top 20th percentile of ROTC units in the country, while Margiotta was selected by LTC Bradley Nadig, professor of military science, as the Distinguished Military Student.
Joining Pelosi and Margiotta on Saturday are Daniel Graham, Joseph LaGruth, Steven Martin, Joseph Miller, Brandon Verh and Mark Woodel.
“The entire ‘Pride of PA’ ROTC Cadre is extremely proud of these seniors,” said LTC Nadig. “Their accomplishments have made such a positive and tremendous impact on our battalion this year and for the past three years while they were cadets. As this year’s Cadet Battalion Chain of Command, their dedication and zeal to accomplish any task and mission to standard has been inspiring to watch.”
This year is especially bittersweet for Raymond Patterson, recruiting operations officer, who has worked with this class of seniors since they were freshmen.
“I have seen them take their first steps as they moved toward becoming Army officers, and now I'm seeing them sprint to the finish line as they begin their Army careers,” said Patterson. “I commend them for being willing to put forth the extra effort that it takes to navigate through ROTC. It takes a truly special person to be willing to do something bigger than their self like serving his country in this type of environment. I salute these patriots as they make their final preparations to accept that challenge.”
The ceremony will celebrate each cadet’s achievements and performance during their four years at Mercyhurst. The cadets are:
Daniel M. Graham — criminal justice major, Army National Guard, Infantry
Joseph J. LaGruth — criminal justice major, U.S. Army Reserves, Military Police
William R. Margiotta — intelligence studies major, Active Duty Army, Infantry with branch detail Military Intelligence
Steven W. Martin — intelligence studies major, Active Duty Army, Infantry
Joseph M. Miller — intelligence studies major, Active Duty Army, Field Artillery with branch detail Adjutant General Corps
Eric T. Pelosi — intelligence studies major, Active Duty Army, Military Intelligence
Brandon T. Verh — accounting major, U.S. Army Reserves, Finance Corps
Mark I. Woodel — intelligence studies major, Active Duty Army, Infantry with branch detail Military Intelligence
PHOTO – (left-right) front: Eric Pelosi, Steven Martin; middle: Joseph LaGruth, Joseph Miller, Brandon Verh; back: Daniel Graham, Mark Woodel and William Margiotta