SAN ANTONIO, Texas –
Most people attend the annual San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo for the excitement of watching a live rodeo event. This year, attendees were able to witness a life-changing experience for nearly 100 young people – taking the solemn oath to serve the nation.
Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, commander of Naval Medical Forces Support Command, administered the oath of enlistment to recruits from the Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, and Texas Air National Guard at an enlistment ceremony at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, Feb. 19.
The ceremony opened with the presentation of colors by the Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, student color guard and continued with remarks from Cody Davenport, CEO and executive director of the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolfe, and Kuehner.
During her remarks, the admiral reminded the young men and women that the oath of enlistment was their solemn obligation of commitment that marked their transition from a private citizen, to a loyal, uniformed service member.
“The oath is your sincere and public promise to defend our nation - and it unifies all of you, together, in your singular focus, regardless of the service uniform you will wear,” said Kuehner. “Today, you and your families should be rightfully proud. You have made a voluntary decision that few in our nation can or will make, and you enter a chapter of your life that holds the promise of professional growth, maturity, unique training and education, teamwork and adaptation.”
Kuehner reflected how each new recruit would experience new places, with different and extraordinary people, cultural and personal enrichment, and the many challenges and rewards that are exclusively available through uniformed service.
“I am very excited for each of you, and I encourage you to celebrate today, and then take some time later, to reflect even more upon your oath and your commitment to our nation,” Kuehner said. “Embrace its meaning, be proud of your decision, and choose a path within your service that honors the uniform you’ll wear – supported by your family, friends, and a grateful nation – for the voluntary and most noble commitment you have made.”
The military has always shared a special bond with San Antonio, often referred to as “Military City USA,” not only because of the number of military personnel assigned in the city, but also because of the amount of veterans who have made San Antonio and surrounding areas, their home.