The Fighting Scots Battalion at Edinboro commissioned five cadets as second lieutenants in the U.S. Armed Forces on Friday, May 5, in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center.

Cadets Aaron Bell, Mikayla Fletcher, Sonora Knauff, Jaret Lennon and Tyler Rainey received their official commissioning and first salute following their service in Edinboro’s ROTC program.

This commissioning ceremony represents a legacy and tradition that has served the Army Officer Corps for over 244 years. This ceremony marks the 50th year of Army ROTC on the Edinboro campus.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jared Ellis and Master Sgt. Wade Russell presented the candidates for commissioning. PennWest trustee Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Mark Bellini provided the keynote address.

Following the presentation of candidates, cadets took the official Oath of Office and received their first salute, which refers to the tradition of receiving a first salute from the sergeant who oversaw the officer’s pre-commissioning training.

Aaron Bell, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was commissioned as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army with distinguished military graduate honors. Bell enlisted in the Army as a military police officer and shortly after mobilized to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Upon return, he began his studies in criminal justice and pre-law, with minors in psychology and adaptive leadership and military studies at Edinboro, maintaining a 3.7 GPA. As a cadet, he was a part of the Ranger Challenge and Arctic Challenge teams, competed in the Army 10-miler, served as captain of the color guard, and graduated from Air Assault School.

Mikayla Fletcher, a native of Livonia, New York, was commissioned as a Nurse Corps officer in the U.S. Army – also receiving distinguished military graduate honors. Fletcher earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing with minors in biology and adaptive leadership and military studies, maintaining a 3.6 GPA.

A member of the PennWest Honors Program, Fletcher also served as captain of the Ranger Challenge team, participated in Arctic Challenge, cannon crew and color guard, competed in the Army 10-miler and graduated from Nurse Summer Training Program in Texas.

Born and raised in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, Sonora Knauff commissioned as a quartermaster officer in the U.S. Army. She maintained a 3.7 GPA as a psychology major with a minor in adaptive leadership and military studies.

As a cadet, she served as captain of the Arctic Challenge team, participated in cannon crew, color guard and ROTC club and completed the Cadet Troop Leader Training at Fort Bragg. After competing basic leadership training, Knauff will be stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

Following his commissioning as a military police officer in the Army Reserve, Jaret Lennon, a native of Medina, Ohio, will turn his career to civilian police work. Lennon has worked as executive officer within the 447th Military Police Company as he pursued his degree in criminal justice and minor in adaptive leadership and military studies.

While at Edinboro, Lennon participated in the Ranger Challenge, color guard, cannon crew and Arctic Challenge. Upon graduation, he plans to attend the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy in August to become an Ohio highway patrol officer.

Erie, Pennsylvania, native Tyler Rainey was commissioned as a medical service office in the U.S. Army with distinguished military graduate honors. His journey with the Army started in 2017, when he enlisted as an infantryman. While serving, he was mobilized in support of domestic security operations in Philadelphia and then to Washington D.C., for President Biden's inauguration.

During his military service, Rainey concurrently studied business administration at Edinboro – achieving a 3.6 GPA, while concentrating in intelligent enterprise with a minor in adaptive leadership and military studies. Rainey was actively involved as president of ROTC club and participated in the Ranger Challenge, Arctic Challenge and color guard teams. In addition, he served as the cannon crew and Highlander captain and as cadet command sergeant major.