CAMP EDWARDS, Mass. - Twenty-four officer candidates of class 78 took the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Oath of Office Aug. 6, 2011, stating that they would support and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They then raised their right hands and took the federal Oath of Office.
Maj. Gen. Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, hosted the day’s event known as The Adjutant General’s Annual Officer Commissioning and Welcoming Ceremony along with other distinguished guests including Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Sellars, Massachusetts Army National Guard Commander, Col. Charles H. Perenick, Jr., Regional Training Institute Commandant, Command Sgt. Maj. David Costa, state command sergeant major and Col. Stewart Taber, captain commanding, Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
Carter delivered the keynote address and stated: “The future of the National Guard is now in your hands. You are our newest leaders, the ones to whom your colleagues, your subordinates and communities will look to during the most difficult of times, be it in theater, during a deployment or responding to a hurricane here in Massachusetts.”
After being pinned by family members and loved ones, the newly appointed second lieutenants went on to receive their traditional first salutes from a noncommissioned officer.
“That first salute is a rite of passage and a memory that will last a lifetime,” said Perenick, commandant of the Massachusetts Military Academy.
In 1912, there was a need for formal military instruction for future Massachusetts National Guard second lieutenants. Brig. Gen. Gardner W. Pearson, then the Adjutant General, authorized the establishment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia Training School in June 1913. Its first superintendent was Maj. Gen. William A. Pew and its first commandant was Lt. Col. William W. Stover, both of whom had served on the board of officers that originally recommended the establishment of the school.
Since its inception the school has been redesignated twice: First in 1935 as the Massachusetts Military Academy and the second in 1996 as the 101st Regiment, however, Massachusetts Military Academy remains the traditional state designation.
For almost 100 years, the Massachusetts Military Academy, the oldest state-run academy in the nation, has prepared it graduates for higher levels of leadership and responsibility in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. The school suspended classes on only three occasions: The border crisis with Mexico and World Wars one and two.
“Today’s graduates will join their predecessors in personifying the academy motto ‘Parati Venimus’ or ‘We Come Prepared,’” Perenick said, acknowledging the proud history of the Massachusetts Military Academy.