Three years ago, only hours after he received his diploma as a member of the Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2009, Robert Mohun returned to the stage at the foot of the academic quadrangle for a very different sort of ceremony. Surrounded by his family, his classmates, and his fiancée, Mr. Mohun became 2nd Lt. Mohun, receiving his commission as a member of the United States Marine Corps.

Three years later, on Commencement Day 2012, now-1st. Lt. Mohun returned to the stage on the academic quadrangle, this time not to receive a commission, but to present one. Only hours after his own graduation, Mr. Noel Bulger, a member of the Class of 2012, formally became 2nd Lt. Bulger, making him the sixth Thomas Aquinas College alumnus to have joined the ranks of Marine Corps officers over the last few years.

Over the summers while he was a student at the College, 2nd Lt. Bulger traveled to Quantico, Va., for the Corps’ Officer Candidates School, where he underwent rigorous training and evaluation under deliberately stressful conditions. The purpose of these trials, according to the school’s mission statement, is to ensure that candidates “possess the moral, intellectual, and physical qualities for commissioning, and the leadership potential to serve successfully.”

Clearly he passed muster, as evidenced by the delegation of Marines who came with 1st. Lt. Mohun to present 2nd Lt. Bulger with his commission from the President of the United States. Amid bursts of applause and cheers of “oorah!” 2nd Lt. Bulger took his oath, and his parents, Dr. and Mrs. Kyran Bulger of County Tipperary, Ireland, proudly affixed single gold bars to his midnight-blue coat.

“The Marine Corps calls for a quick mind in a dynamic environment,” says 2nd Lt. Bulger. “Thomas Aquinas College prepares you for that in the classroom, so that you are able to think on your feet. That’s something I’m definitely going to use in the Marine Corps.”

 

Posted: May 12, 2012