Shippensburg University’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) celebrated the service and sacrifices made by U.S. veterans in Old Main Chapel on Nov. 12.
“In times of crisis, America turns to its veterans... America knows exactly where to look,” said Lt. Col. Chris Morton, a military science professor at SU.
As the guest speaker of the ceremony, Morton spoke of his experiences in the armed forces, as well as the handful of opportunities that ROTC cadets are given.
According to Morton, “100 percent of ROTC graduates will have a job.”
Although military service differs from a more traditional career path, Morton stressed the importance of normalizing the armed forces as a valid career choice.
“When you talk to your kids about what they want to be when they grow up, ask about military service,” he said. “Without support from all of you, this would be impossible.”
As a way to honor local veterans, the university’s ceremony recognized Col. Ronald K. Taylor, who currently serves as marketing professor in the John L. Grove College of Business. Taylor’s expertise lies in marketing strategy and brand management, retail and sales management, as well as sitting on both professional and non-profit organization’s boards.
In preparation for service, his training included taking military intelligence officer basic and civil affairs officers advanced courses, as well as attending basic airborne school, air assault school, pathfinder school and more.
Taylor’s academic achievements include a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business and education, and both a master’s degree and doctorate in business administration.
The combination of advanced training and education prepared Taylor for joint, operational and command tours with deployments in Central America, Eastern and Western Europe and Southwest Asia.
Through his many years of service, he acquired numerous awards and decorations, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.
A special dedication took place during the ceremony, as SU cadet Evan Corman took the stage to share memories of his late grandfather, Ralph Corman, who would be receiving the dedication.
Proudly hanging from the upper level of the chapel for all to see was Ralph’s flag. He was drafted during the Korean War and led a fulfilling life, Evan said.
“When my grandfather passed away I was in total shock because I never lost anyone before,” he said.
It was not until the funeral service that Evan realized what the future had in store for him.
He would follow in his grandfather’s footsteps in hopes that he, too, would live a rewarding life.
This year’s ceremony held even more significance, as Veteran’s Day 2018 marked the centennial of the end of World War I.