RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 28, 2013) - The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology will welcome a new Army ROTC leader during a change of command ceremony at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30, in the Surbeck Center Ballroom.
Maj. Lynna Speier will become the new commander of the Mount Rushmore Army ROTC Battalion, which started at the School of Mines in 1950 but also now encompasses satellite locations at Black Hills State University and Chadron State College.
Speier will replace Lt. Col. Oliver Hasse, who is retiring after 20 years of service in the Army. The Mount Rushmore Battalion saw the highest number of commissioned officers, 16, in the program's history under Hasse's leadership from 2009-2013.
The battalion expects around 120 cadets enrolled in ROTC as a class and participating in events at the three institutions this semester, with 36 cadets contracted, meaning they have "raised their right hand" and committed to serve the nation, according to Capt. Richard Cole of the battalion.
Speier arrived in late July from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., where she served as the G1 in charge of all personnel and assignment related material. She is an adjutant general officer (human resources). She has spent the majority of her career at Fort Hood, Texas, and has been assigned to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and West Point, N.Y., and has served multiple deployments to Iraq and was also deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Speier's awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal.
The ceremony is an Army tradition, during which School of Mines President Heather Wilson will pass the guidon from the old to the new chain of command.