SRU Army ROTC to commission 11 cadets, honor colonel


rotc graduates

Eleven U.S. Army cadets participating in the ROTC program at Slippery Rock University will be commissioned as second lieutenants in a special ceremony at 4 p.m., May 6 in the Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium.

April 22, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Eleven U.S. Army cadets participating in the ROTC program at Slippery Rock University will be commissioned as second lieutenants, and a retiring Army colonel, who began his military career in ROTC at SRU, will be honored in special ceremonies at 4 p.m., May 6 in the Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium.

Nine of the 11 graduating ROTC cadets attend SRU; two attend Clarion University and are involved in training at SRU. Graduates taking the oath of office are:

  • David DiPasquale, a history major from Collegeville;
  • Richard Klumph, a physical and health education from West Middlesex;
  • Sean White, a Clarion University environmental geosciences major from Slippery Rock;
  • Jacob Spangler, a secondary education major from Pittsburgh;
  • Andrew Double, a history major from Evans City;
  • Margaret Manocchio, a criminology major from Kent, Ohio;
  • Alli Stauffer, a safety management major from Rochester;
  • Tyler Ejzak, a geography, geology and environment major from Harmony;
  • Tacia Mitchell, a criminology major from Aliquippa;
  • Matthew Truesdell, a political science major from Rochester; and
  • Jesse Zundel, a Clarion University political science major from Clarion.
Michael Brobeck


Army Col. Michael Brobeck, a 1984 graduate and Bronze Star recipient, is returning to SRU for his formal retirement ceremonies.. Brobeck provided the keynote address for SRU's 2015 Veterans Day ceremony.

Army Col. Eddie Nagel, also a 1984 ROTC at SRU graduate, will provide the keynote address. He serves as director for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Management Office, U.S. Army Sustainment Command.

"I am honored and humbled to be the keynote speaker for the commissioning

ceremony at Slippery Rock University," Nagel said.

This year's ceremony helps commemorate the 100th anniversary of Army ROTC in the U.S. According to the U.S. Army command, "ROTC as it exists today began with President Wilson signing the National Defense Act of 1916, which brought training under a single, federally-controlled entity."

Today, the Army has 275 ROTC programs at colleges in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam with an enrollment of more than 30,000. ROTC is the largest officer-producing organization within the American military, having commissioned more than half a million second lieutenants since its inception.

The "believe in me" ethic of Army ROTC at SRU is just one of the reasons the program continues to grow. The program has commissioned 309 officers since its first class in 1984 and currently enrolls 207 students, said Capt. Joseph Barrow, assistant professor of military science.

Nagel first enlisted in the Army in 1976 as an infantryman. After a four-year tour, he left the Army "to pursue other endeavors beyond going to (work in) the steel mills which were prevalent throughout western Pennsylvania."

He enrolled at Community College of Beaver County for a degree in nuclear quality assurance in order to work at the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant.

"During my first year at CCBC, I missed the kinship of the military, which led me to Slippery Rock where I found out that I could enter the ROTC program. That led to a commission as a lieutenant in the infantry."

Nagel said SRU provided him, an his fellow classmates, the academic cornerstone and foundation needed to achieve success, not only in the military, but their journey though time and circumstances.

"I am just proud to be a graduate of our alma mater, and all that this institution of higher education and what my education has enabled me to do this far in life," he said.

During his keynote, Nagel said he would tell the new officers to embrace their profession with passion, yet be humble in resolve to meet the mission and treat all with dignity and respect.

"They are about to embark upon a journey into a profession where duty, honor

and country are not mere words, they are a value system that will be engrained in them," Nagel said.

He said soldiers are not looking for pals; they are looking for leaders who they can trust to do the right thing, both in and out of uniform.

Nagel said he would tell the new officers, "Never take the easier wrong over the harder right."

After receiving his commission, Nagel served in various command and staff positions and the Army Acquisition Corps.

He departed active duty in 1993 and joined the 35th ID, Kansas Army National Guard where he served as a Battalion S3, Brigade Deputy S4, G3 Current Operations Chief, Deputy G3 and G4 to include deployments to Germany, Bosnia and Kosovo. He transferred to the U.S. Army Reserves in 2004 and was mobilized in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan.

Nagel's educational portfolio includes three undergraduate degrees, a graduate degree and a professional doctorate.

His military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster and a Meritorious Service Award.

Brobeck, a native of Ohioville, joined SRU's ROTC in 1982 and received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers in 1984. He received a bachelor of science in business administration from SRU. He is married to Lisa Gazzo, a 1987 SRU graduate. They have three children, including a daughter Rachel Brobeck, a criminology and criminal justice major at SRU.

Brobeck, who was part of ROTC's first commissioning class at SRU, currently serves a deputy chief, Facilities Engineering Division of Army's Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C. Past assignments have included commanding an engineering brigade in Iraq and managing 30 people in the Pentagon's global security programs.

Brobeck's assignments have included service with engineering brigades deployed to Kosovo, Honduras and Germany. His military awards and decorations include the Legion or Merit, Army Achievement Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Medal.

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