Six McDaniel ROTC cadets commissioned as Army officers

May 21, 2024

Members of the Green Terror Battalion were commissioned as Army officers at 10 a.m. on May 17, in a ceremony in Baker Memorial Chapel. Cadets from Mount St. Mary’s University and Hood College were commissioned in separate ceremonies.

McDaniel President Julia Jasken shared opening remarks, thanking veterans in the audience, and congratulating the six new Army officers.

“To today’s graduating cadets: You are leaving McDaniel College with not only a liberal arts education but also the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary for leadership, combined with an ability to embrace the world, which will take you far,” Jasken said. “We have no doubt that you’ll make an incredible impact on your communities, and I look forward to hearing all about it when you return to the Hill.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Brig. Gen. Matthew N. Gebhard ’93, deputy commanding general for operations at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, Special Operations Center of Excellence at Fort Liberty, North Carolina. Gebhard enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1988 and later commissioned on active duty in 1993. During a career in both active and reserve components, his prior duties have included both Infantry and Psychological Operations (PSYOP) company-grade assignments, Group Command, and service as an Army War College instructor.

Gebhard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History from McDaniel and holds master’s degrees from Duquesne University and the Army War College. In addition, Gebhard completed post-graduate study in Supervision of Education and Curriculum Development at the University of Pittsburgh. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Action Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, and Ranger Tab.

Gebhard shared his memories of his own Commissioning ceremony when he was a cadet at McDaniel College, as well as the lessons he has learned in his 30-year Army career.

“McDaniel’s diverse studies sets it apart from other schools, and those diverse studies will serve you and help the wider organization of the Army,” Gebhard said. “It’s not about what you know, but that you have a love of learning, which you get here at McDaniel and in the Army.”

Elijah M. Hansbrough of Westminster, Maryland, was recognized with the Lieutenant General (R) Otto Guenther Leadership Award, which annually goes to the commissioning cadet who best exemplifies the character, morals, leadership, and lifelong dedication demonstrated by the late Otto Guenther, a 1963 alumnus and former chair of McDaniel’s Board of Trustees, both to the U.S. Army and to his alma mater.

A cadet holds a plaque for the Lieutenant General (R) Otto Guenther Leadership Award while posing with college President Julia Jasken and Lieutenant Colonel Seth Hartmann.
Elijah Hansbrough, recipient of the Otto Guenther Leadership Award, with President Julia Jasken (left) and Lt. Col. Seth Hartmann (right).

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