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Westminster College grad becomes Army officer

by Michael Shine | May 14, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Second Lieutenant Brooke R. Thompson takes the oath of office, administered by retired Maj. Gen. Byron S. Bagby, during her Commissioning Ceremony into the U.S. Army on Friday morning at Westminster College. FULTON SUN/MICHAEL SHINE

Westminster College graduating senior Brooke R. Thompson was recognized for a different accomplishment.

The college hosted a commissioning ceremony Friday morning that recognized Thompson officially joining the U.S. Army as an officer. She's now a second lieutenant.

"I don't even know if there's a word for it," Thompson said. "I'm overjoyed because it's kind of the culmination of a lot of really hard work over a lot of years.

"But it feels even better to have people here to celebrate it with me, for sure. The people that have supported me through whole thing. I think that's the best part of it."

Thompson has been in the ROTC program throughout her time at Westminster -- which runs through Lincoln University's program in Jefferson City.

Serving in the military runs in her family, and she wanted to pick up that baton.

"My dad was in the military, my grandpa and my great-grandfather," she said. "So, I kind of grew up around people that were in the military. I knew I wanted to go into the military, but by the time it was time to go to college, I also knew I wanted to go to college. ROTC was a great way for me to do both."

Along with her commissioning, Thompson will receive her diploma today, completing a bachelor's of arts in security studies, Spanish and history.

A commissioning, retired Maj. Gen. Byron S. Bagby said during the ceremony, serves as a transition point from being a cadet to an Army officer.

Thompson is originally from Lakewood, Colorado. Her next stop is Washington, D.C.

She'll be attending Georgetown University this fall to earn a master's degree in global, international and comparative history. She'll also serve as an engineering officer in the Army Reserves.

  photo  Second Lieutenant Brooke R. Thompson hugs her father, Lt. Comm. Craig Thompson, with her mom, Michele Leman, during her Commissioning Ceremony into the U.S. Army on Friday morning at Westminster College. FULTON SUN/MICHAEL SHINE

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