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Family's Tradition of Service Continues as UK Grad is Commissioned

By Whitney Harder

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2015) — University of Kentucky Army ROTC's Ross Kok reached two milestones last Friday as he earned his degree and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army.

Before commencement, 2nd Lt. Kok's family, friends, superiors and fellow cadets gathered at Buell Armory for his Commissioning Ceremony. Maj. Gen. Peggy C. Combs, commanding general, U.S. Army Cadet Command, was also in attendance.  

Kok's father, Brig. Gen. Troy Kok, officiated the ceremony.

"Thirty-one years ago, yes I sat in that seat… And my father, who looked a little younger at that time, was in about the same seat where he is, and he got up and he pinned my 2nd Lt. bars," Brig. Gen. Kok said as he would soon do the same with his own son.

2nd Lt. Kok, from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics with a minor in business. Next, he will attend flight school at Fort Rucker in Alabama.

"This is about your progression, your ROTC…to fulfill a role that's within the greatest army in the world," Brig. Gen. Kok said. "And that's a lot of responsibility, but that's how we train you. The bottom line is it isn't easy. It should be hard because we want to make sure we get only our best and our brightest to represent and to take care of America's sons and daughters."

After being pinned and presented his commissioning certificate by his father, the newly commissioned Kok received his first salute, a longstanding tradition, from his grandfather.