On Friday, May 13, 2016, nine cadets in the Highlanders Army ROTC program Presbyterian College, Newberry College, and Lander University were commissioned second lieutenant at Presbyterian College. In addition, retired Col. Jack C. Ziegler, Jr. was inducted into the Presbyterian College ROTC Hall of Fame.
“While I have attended this ceremony on several occasions, I have never been a participant,” said Presbyterian College President Bob Staton. “So, this is a special moment for me because I completed the ROTC program at PC many years ago and was commissioned as a lieutenant upon my graduation. I am excited to be a participant.”
Zeigler is a native of Florence, S.C. He graduated from Presbyterian College in December 1979 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. His first assignment was to the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment in Illeshiem, Germany where he served as mechanized infantry platoon leader, scout platoon leader and rifle company executive officer.
Zeigler’s military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Joint Staff Identification Badge, the Special Forces Tab, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, and the Ranger Tab. He has conducted airborne operations in Italy, Botswana, and Swaziland and has been awarded their parachutist badges.
“It’s important that we participate in these ceremonies and plant the seeds for the future,” Ziegler said.
“There are 100 people who are here and will be involved in your success: family, mentors, role models, and teachers,” Ziegler added. “Thank them now, and thank them often.”
Maj. Gen. Flem B. Walker, Jr. addressed the graduating class. Walker currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4 United States Army Forces Command. A native of Alabama, he is a 1987 graduate of Auburn University. Walker received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps in 1987.
“Enjoy and savor today because you are about to embark on a journey that will be the most gratifying experience in your life,” Walker said. “Never stray from the Army values: loyalty, duty, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”
The ceremony ended with closing remarks by Lt. Col. Brian Donley, professor of military science at PC. “Soldiers care more about how much you care than how much you know,” Donley said. “If you don’t know, ask someone.”
Presbyterian College is located on a striking 240-acre campus in Clinton, between Columbia and Greenville, S.C. Offering challenging academics and a culture of honor, ethics, and service that prepares students to be leaders in communities, PC offers its students the benefit of engaging with an exceptional faculty who take individual interest in their students’ well-being, both personally and in the classroom. The Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy opened in 2010, and is dedicated to the ideals of leadership, honor to the profession, and service to the community. For more information about Presbyterian College, visit www.presby.edu.