St. John's University
Every year, St. John’s ROTC commissions 2nd Lieutenants in the annual commissioning ceremony.

From Cadet to 2nd Lieutenant

Every year, St. John’s ROTC commissions 2nd Lieutenants in the annual commissioning ceremony.

CPT Matthew Heinsohn

SJU ROTC Class of 2013

CPT Matthew Heinsohn is a class of 2013 graduate with a BS in education, and is currently a field artillery Officer stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. He chose SJU because of its closeness to his home in Staten Island, NY, and its well-known ROTC program. CPT Heinsohn chose to join SJU ROTC because he had always wanted to serve in the United States Army, and he felt that becoming an Officer was the best way for him to effectively lead others, so achieving his degree and commissioning simultaneously through ROTC was his goal.

As a field artillery Officer, CPT Heinsohn is often found assisting the maneuver commander in planning and executing lethal fires against enemy combatants in order to assist the Soldiers that request support from him and his unit. While completing the mission is CPT Heinsohn’s objective, he makes sure to take care of his Soldiers under his command and ensure their welfare, something he feels is the “the most important job of any leader in the U.S. Army”. CPT Heinsohn stated that an Officer should do anything in their power to take care of their subordinates and ensure they are free of issues and unnecessary hardships in order to help them perform well at their jobs.

CPT Heinsohn’s goals include taking command of an artillery battery (company-sized unit) and continuing his education as a graduate student. He stated that ROTC has helped prepare him for being an Officer by helping him grow physically and mentally, and teaching him the mindset that any Army Officer should have. He stated that “The Army lifestyle is not easily adjusted to for most college students but the ROTC provides you with the tools and experience to become a successful army leader”.

2LT Elena Rudy

SJU ROTC Class of 2017

2LT Elena Rudy is a class of 2017 graduate with a BS in biology, and is currently a medical services Officer stationed in Germany. She chose SJU because of the ability to both run track on the division 1 women’s track team and participate in ROTC, while also being close to her home in Cornwall, NY. She joined ROTC because she wanted to build her leadership capabilities and earn her degree.

and a staff Officer in a medical platoon under an infantry unit. She is responsible for unit’s medical readiness, so 2LT Rudy’s job is to ensure her soldiers are all checked and physically clear to operate and deploy as a team. On the staff side of her job, 2LT Rudy gets to interact with many high ranking Soldiers with command positions and learn the ins and outs of commanding troops, which is “something that a lot of 2LTs don’t get to do right when they start working” according to her. While she is in the Army, 2LT Rudy hopes to earn her Expert Field Medical Badge, become her company executive Officer, and possibly earn her graduate degree in order to help her meet her goal of becoming a physical therapist, but she is still keeping her options open.

2LT Rudy said that ROTC prepared her for leadership by allowing her to “set the foundation for her leadership style” and build off of that from her time as a cadet to her time as an Officer. 2LT Rudy said that being an Officer is learning as you go, which can be hectic for some. Her advice to potential cadets and future Officers is to “push yourself out of your as soon and as much as you can”, because it will only help them to succeed.

2LT Travis King

U.S. Army Reserves, SJU ROTC Class of 2017

2LT Travis King is a class of 2017 graduate with a BS in marketing, and is currently a quartermaster Officer in the US Army Reserve. 2LT King is from Brooklyn, NY, and works for the Synchrony Financial Company. He chose SJU because of the positive reputation it has, the accomplished ROTC program, and it’s location in New York City. 2LT King also mentioned that he was able to graduate debt free thanks to SJU’s great veterans outreach efforts, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program. He joined ROTC because during his enlistment, he realized he wanted to be able to “mold a large group of Soldiers into the most professional, most selfless, most intelligent and toughest group of men and women the world has ever seen”, so he spent his enlisted time researching great ROTC programs and developing himself as a leader of others so he would be prepared to become a cadet.

As a quartermaster Officer in the US Army Reserve, 2LT King is responsible for making sure Soldiers have functioning equipment, materials, and systems in order to complete their missions. Without this crucial position, Soldiers would be ill-equipped and not effective. 2LT King says that it is “is a privilege to simultaneously serve the nation and work in corporate America”. While he says it is a challenge to balance both, it is also very rewarding to be able to do so. 2LT King’s goals within and outside of the Army is to improve the quality of life of all of his Soldiers and veterans as well. He strives to be the example that children in impoverished areas look to in order to realize they too can have it all.

2LT King stated that ROTC prepared him to be an officer by allowing him to both refine and develop a leadership style that was unique to himself, while also learning how to give develop and give orders instead of only executing them like he did while he was enlisted.

2LT Stephen Rolston

New York Army National Guard, SJU ROTC Class of 2016

2LT Stephen Rolston is a class of 2016 graduate with a BS in communications, and is currently a signal Officer with the New York Army National Guard. 2LT Rolston is from West Islip, NY, and currently works for the NBC network. He chose SJU because of the ROTC program, and specifically the cadre and level of training at SJU, with our highly experience cadre. He joined ROTC because he always had a desire to serve his country and decided on becoming an Officer because he wanted to try the challenge and make a difference in his Soldiers’ lives.

As a signal officer in the NY National Guard, 2LT Rolston is a platoon leader, and has to make sure each and every one of his soldiers has the equipment, training, and experience needed to complete their tasks. He also said “An important task of a platoon leader is to make sure his/her soldiers are ready to deploy at any moment should it happen”, so that is one of the core things 2LT Rolston deals with. With a civilian career, he also has separate work to do but still manages to get both Army and civilian work thanks to time management. While he finds that working for a major broadcast corporation can be time consuming due to travel, he still finds it very enjoyable and rewarding to be able to manage both career paths. He stated that ROTC prepared him for this level of responsibility thanks to experience of the cadre at the Red Storm Battalion, experience that transfers to cadets when they are taught about the ins and outs of the Army over the course of their military education.

2LT Rolston stated that his goals both within and outside of the Army are similar. He hopes to make sure that both his soldiers and coworkers are taken care of by him and be remembered as a caring leader by making a positive impact in both organizations.