Eight new Army second Lieutenants were commissioned at Furman University McAlister Auditorium Saturday, May 6th, 2016.

Lt. Col. Gregory Scrivens is Professor of Military Science at Furman. Also participating in the ceremony were Furman President Dr. Elizabeth Davis and Interim North Greenville University President Dr. Randall Parnell.

Guest speaker for the ceremony was Colonel Erick Schwartz (USA Ret.).

Col Schwartz said the purpose of his talk was to give the soon to be Army officers, “an insider’s look into hearts and minds of men in battle.”

“You have made a commitment to something that is greater than the accomplishments of one person. In a moment you will place your heels together, raise your hand, and in the backdrop of the American flag, take an oath of office. Those words have been recited by thousands before you. Young officers like you that when their nation called … they answered. You will stand in the ranks of men who fought at Normandy, The Chosin Valley, LZ Xray, and Fallujah. They are your brothers in arms. We are in a family business. Embrace those that have gone before you and remain humble.”

Col Schwartz addressed the families of the new lieutenants.

“Well done. I’m sure you are quite proud of your son. From the bottom of my heart. From one father to another. Thank you. You’ve made a courageous sacrifice. Allowing your son to serve during this difficult time. As exciting as today is, I’m sure you are scared. The fact is … that fear resonates in all of us..”

Col Schwartz knew what he was talking about. Not only was he a combat veteran, his son, Andrew R. Schwartz was one of the young men being commissioned during this ceremony.

“Lieutenants, the harsh reality of your commitment to serve is that you are … different. Some might say Odd. Here’s why. Less than 1 percent of American society chooses to serve in the Armed Forces. Your trademark is based on words that make some people uncomfortable. Courage, Honor, and Integrity. You are always on your game. For you, there is no off duty. You don’t serve for recognition or financial reward. There is something different in each of you that drives you to serve.”