Friday, May 5, 2017
Mercyhurst University’s three ROTC graduates have earned the Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG) designation and will be honored when they accept their degrees on May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Erie Insurance Arena.
Through a number of challenges that take place during the first three years of ROTC, seniors Alexander Burke, Alex Dorado and Michael Green outperformed their peers nationwide to land in the top 20 percent to earn the DMG designation. Students who earn DMG are evaluated on a series of criteria, including: academic performance/GPA, leadership ability through the 30-day Cadet Leader Course (CLC), performance via the Leader Development Assessment Couse (LDAC) and performance during the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Burke, Dorado and Green are three of nine cadets within the Pride of Pennsylvania ROTC Battalion who earned DMG status this year. A total of 13 senior cadets are graduating from this battalion, which includes cadets from Mercyhurst University, Gannon University and Penn State Behrend.
Both Burke and Dorado will be commissioned as active duty officers in the U.S. Army, with Burke entering the Field Artillery Branch stationed in Germany, and Dorado joining the Air Defense Artillery Branch at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Green has committed eight years to the Army Reserves in Liverpool, New York.
As battalion commander of the local ROTC chapter, Burke is graduating from the Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences with a double major in intelligence studies and religious studies. He has his sights set on earning the rank of captain as a Military Intelligence Officer after he spends four years in field artillery as a Second Lieutenant.
“I believe that leading well and achieving success relies upon a person’s character,” said Burke. “Having the integrity to do the right thing even when no one is around, and being true to your principles will lead to success. Actions speak louder than words, and people do notice.”
Dorado, also an intelligence studies major, expects to spend four years in Air Defense Artillery before making the switch to a Foreign Area Officer or an Officer of Military Intelligence. Dorado hopes the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency will hire him as an analyst post-military.
“I learned several important lessons throughout my four years at Mercyhurst,” said Dorado. “One of the most important things ROTC has done for me is build my self-confidence. Over the past four years I have held many leadership positions and built up a confidence in my abilities. ROTC has lived up to its core mission — to develop young leaders and provide a base for young officers to grow.”
Green, who majored in criminal justice with a minor in psychology of crime and law, decided to join the Army Reserves so he could pursue a civilian career as a New York State Trooper. Green will test for the state trooper police force in October.
The life lessons that stuck with Green came from ROTC Captain Nelson Muniz and his head wrestling coach Mike Wehler, he said.
“Captain Muniz told us consistently that ‘you are the best manager of your career,’ while coach Wehler said ‘no matter what you do and what goals you are trying to reach, all you can ask out of yourself is your actual best. Even if the results are not what you want, at least you can be humble about them because you put everything you could toward [your goal].’”