On the eve of their graduation from Harvard College, 11 of the military’s newest officers received their commissions at a ceremony today (May 26) in crowded, sun-splashed Tercentenary Theatre.Honored from the Class of 2010 were David F. Boswell, Josue Guerra, Sarah A. Harvey, and Karl J. Kmiecik (U.S. Army second lieutenants); Talya Havice and Shawna L. Sinnott (U.S. Marine Corps second lieutenants); and Joshua D. Foote, Michael B. Kaehler, Christi E. Morrissey, Katherine E. O’Donnell, and Olivia Volkoff (U.S. Navy ensigns).A 10th student, Alex Prado, will receive his U.S. Army commission this summer. He graduates Thursday (May 27) with a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.Administering their oaths was Michael G. Vickers, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for special operations, low-intensity conflict, and interdependent capabilities. During the 1980s, he masterminded the Central Intelligence Agency’s arming of the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan, a step that many say spelled doom for invading Soviet troops.Vickers thanked the parents of the new officers for instilling in them “honor, courage, respect, and selfless service.”He called the dozen students arrayed on stage “the very best our nation has to offer,” praising them for volunteering in a time of war. “You have elected to forgo a more comfortable life,” said Vickers, a Special Forces soldier from 1973 to 1986, “and with eyes wide open have courageously and selflessly offered to put yourselves in harm’s way on behalf of your fellow citizens.”He warned them too, saying that the hardest challenges are still ahead, and that to surmount those obstacles they would do well to listen to the combat-seasoned soldiers under their command.Former interim U.S. Sen. Paul G. Kirk Jr. ’60, J.D. ’64, a Boston lawyer and veteran — as well as a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) graduate at Harvard — offered more words of praise and advice.“You were the first in your class to answer a fundamental question,” he said of the new officers, not “What shall I do with my Harvard degree? No, your question was more profound. You asked yourselves … what shall I do with my citizenship?”Kirk added, “A Harvard College education also teaches us to remember always our responsibilities as American citizens.”He praised the students for volunteering. “In doing so, you bring honor to yourselves and to your families. You bring honor to your classmates and to this University, and — not least — you have honored your country.”Kirk was an aide to U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy during his presidential run in 1968, served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and most recently filled a Senate seat following the death of Sen. Edward M. “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts.Harvard President Drew Faust, herself the daughter of a decorated World War II veteran, was also on hand, as she always is during ceremonies honoring the University’s links to the military.“Take what Harvard has given you,” she told the new officers, praising them for their fitness, intellect, and courage. “Generate a new surge of ideas to use in the nation’s service. Help reinforce the long tradition of ties between Harvard and the military, as we share hopes that changing circumstances will soon enable us to further strengthen those bonds.”Student cadets and midshipmen drill and study with units at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This year, Harvard has 20 undergraduates enrolled in ROTC.A pioneering former ROTC member took a bow at the ceremony, Charles “Chuck” DePriest ’77. He cross-enrolled at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, opening a new route — after much University debate — to such training. A radiologist, DePriest spent 10 years on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and retired as a major. With him was Oscar “Butch” DePriest ’74, who took his ROTC commission while in dental school at Boston University. He is a brigadier general in the U.S. Army Reserves.The brothers are great-grandsons of Chicago Republican Oscar Stanton De Priest (1871-1951), the son of former slaves who was the first African American elected to Congress in the 20th century.Just before the ceremony, David Boswell ’10 stood waiting, his uniformed shoulders bare of insignia. Behind him was a boyhood in the Solomon Islands, where he scoured the jungles for World War II artifacts. Ahead is a career as an officer in the Army Medical Service Corps, where he will train as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot.Is ROTC the end of a long adventure? “Yes,” said Boswell, “and the beginning of another long adventure.”
ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Vincentian stroke-maker Sunil Ambris has been rewarded for his recent prolific scoring and named in a West Indies 15-man squad for the two-Test tour of New Zealand starting later this month.The 24-year-old, who played a single One-Day International in the five-match series against England last September, is the only new face in the unit, replacing Kyle Hope who failed in successive series against England and Zimbabwe recently.Ambris smashed 608 runs at an average of 43 for Windward Islands Volcanoes in the last first class season and was one of the leading scorers in the Regional Super50 earlier this year when he pummeled 423 runs at an average of 70.Last month, he tipped the scales heavily in his favour with two hundreds in the three-match “Test” series against the touring Sri Lanka A, as he emerged the leading batsman in the series with 278 runs at an average of 55.Sunil has replaced Kyle Hope in the squad, and this is on the basis of his consistent performances across formats and his outstanding returns for the Windies ‘A’ team in the ‘Test’ series against Sri Lanka ‘A’,” chief selector Courtney Browne said.“This type of consistency is very welcomed by the panel.”Hope has struggled in international cricket, gathering just 41 runs in six Test innings on a difficult tour of England.The 28-year-old right-hander also failed to produce against minnows Zimbabwe, managing just 60 runs in three innings.“Kyle is encouraged to return to the first-class championship and turn in the strong performances his talent suggests he can deliver,” Browne said.Apart from Hope, selectors have kept faith with the unit that lost 2-1 to England last August but impressed in winning the Caribbean side their first Test on English soil in 17 years with the stunning result at Headingley.They completed a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe last week, winning the first Test by 117 runs before being held to a draw in the final match, and Browne said this series win was underpinned by a strong collective effort.“The panel congratulates the players and the entire team management unit on the series victory in Zimbabwe,” the former Test wicketkeeper said.“It was a strong team effort and highlighted by those players that did not do as well as expected on the recent tour of England, playing critical roles in the team’s success.“Their success augurs well for the selection process and the philosophy of continuity which has underpinned our selection for the tour of New Zealand, and not the chopping and changing mentality.”West Indies will undergo a camp in Brisbane starting next week before travelling to New Zealand where they open that tour with a three-day match against New Zealand A starting November 25.The first Test bowls off December 1 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, with the second starting eight days later at Seddon Park in Hamilton.SQUAD – Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.