By Colton Strader
Lyon College’s ROTC Fighting Scots detachment held its second commissioning ceremony of the year on Dec. 9. December graduate and now 2nd Lt. Alexander Holzwarth was the sole graduate of the ceremony, becoming the first officer in his long line of enlisted and non-commissioned officer family members.
Throughout high school Holzwarth intended to join some form of military service to find direction and discipline. After Lyon College offered him the chance to play collegiate soccer on a scholarship, he took the opportunity to pursue a sport he loved.
Through the college’s ROTC program, he was given the privilege of being one of the first cadets to enter the program. Holzwarth believes he was consistently ranked and awarded higher than he would have been at other colleges, due to the small campus structure and rigorous academics.
Holzwarth is the first active-duty cadet to graduate from Lyon College and achieve his personal fulfillment of serving.
Lyon College President Dr. Melissa P. Taverner welcomed attendees to the event with a short history of the program.
“This program was initiated at Lyon in 2019 forming an affiliate unit of the Arkansas State ROTC Red Wolf Battalion,” said Dr. Taverner. “The Fighting Scots detachment has, in a very short time, acquitted itself quite well garnering numerous state level awards and achievements from our cadets.”
Lt. Morgan Weatherly, professor of Military Science, said, “As a member of the Army, 2nd Lt. Holzwarth will serve as a platoon leader and have many future jobs leading future service members in preparation for what may be their fight overseas.”
He continued, “This future service aligns with the oath that each officer takes swearing to protect and defend the United States Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. An oath of considerable gravity.”
Retired Lt. Col. David Sonnier, Lyon College associate professor of Computer Science, conducted Holzwarth’s commissioning oath.
Holzwarth’s gold bar was pinned on by his father, Ted Holzwarth, and significant other, Sarah Tallents, and he received his first salute by his uncle, Johnny Reinhart, who is a retired U.S. Air Force master sergeant.