Archive for Thursday, June 1, 2006

Johnson speaks at ROTC commission ceremony

June 1, 2006

Twenty-three Kansas University graduates and four graduates of area colleges and universities were commissioned as officers in the armed forces during ceremonies May 22 in the Kansas Union. The Air Force ROTC coordinated the joint commissioning activities.

Lt. Col. Sandra Leiker of KU Air Force ROTC welcomed the cadets, their families and friends and other guests and introduced the speaker, Lt. Col. Mark Johnson, Eudora, who retired in 2000 after a U.S. Army career that included 20 years as a Green Beret officer. He is now a motivational speaker and the author of two books, "Lessons in Leadership: Straight Talk From a Green Beret" and "How to Get Anyone to Follow You Anywhere: Green Beret Secrets to Leadership and Team Building."

Johnson received a KU bachelor's degree in history in spring 1980 and his commission as a second lieutenant through the KU Army ROTC program. Later he went through the Special Forces Qualification Course and became a Green Beret.

He received a master's degree in military arts and sciences in 1996 from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. His extensive teaching experience includes serving as professor and chairman of the military science department at Pittsburg State University from 1998 until 2000.

Johnson administered the oath of office, and a family member or close friend pinned the lieutenant or ensign rank on the new officers' shoulders.

The new officers have completed requirements of KU Air Force, Army and Navy ROTC units or the Marine Corps Platoon Leadership Course.

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