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SVC graduate Dominic Oto commissioned as Army officer

SVC graduate Dominic Oto commissioned as Army officer

by Public Relations | May 15, 2024

LATROBE, PA – On May 13, Saint Vincent College ROTC cadet Dominic Oto, C’24, of North Versailles, and PennWest California ROTC cadet Riley Roldan were commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army at the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.2nd Lt. Dominic Oto

“I was praying one day by the statue of Mary [in the Basilica] and I just felt right then that I should have my commissioning here,” said Oto, who graduated from Saint Vincent with a Bachelor of Arts in theology two days before he was commissioned.

Present at the ceremony were 2nd Lt. Oto’s mother, Theresa, and his uncle, retired U.S. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Joe Sullivan. Also present were U.S. Army Lt. Col. Stephen M. Lucas, professor of military service; U.S. Army Master Sgt. Greggory Space, senior military science instructor; Capt. Jacob Volpe, western Pennsylvania strength manager; and Fr. Paul Taylor, O.S.B., C’87, S’91, president of Saint Vincent College.

After an invocation by Fr. Paul, Lt. Col. Lucas made brief remarks about the perseverance and dedication displayed by 2nd Lt. Oto and 2nd Lt. Roldan over the past four years of training in the Three Rivers Battalion ROTC program.

“There were times they could have taken a knee, but they didn’t,” Lt. Col. Lucas said. “There were some inflection points, especially during their senior year, but they continued to work hard and push through. They did amazing things and finally crossed the finish line.”

2nd Lt. Riley Roldan (left) and 2nd Lt. Dominic Oto take the Oath of Commissioned Officers

Because he is ranked among the top 20 percent of Army ROTC graduates nationwide, 2nd Lt. Oto earned the designation of Distinguished Military Graduate.

The Oath of Commissioned Officers was administered by Capt. Volpe. After being pinned with lieutenant bars by his mother and uncle, 2nd Lt. Oto received his “Silver Dollar Salute” from Master Sgt. Leina Braxton, a military science instructor in the Three Rivers Battalion Cadre.

The Silver Dollar Salute is a tradition in which a newly commissioned officer gives a silver dollar coin to the person from whom her or she receives the first salute.


PHOTO 1: 2nd Lt. Dominic Oto

PHOTO 2: 2nd Lt. Riley Roldan (left) and 2nd Lt. Dominic Oto take the Oath of Commissioned Officers