UWL student sworn into the Army during university’s commencement

Families and friends gathered at the La Crosse Center to cheer on their graduates.

More than 700 students walked across the stage for their diplomas at the UWL winter commencement ceremony.

One senior is receiving more than his diploma.

ROTC Eagle Battalion cadet Justin Jorstad is being commissioned into the Army as a second lieutenant during the ceremony.

This is the first time UWL has done this as part of its commencement.

Jorstad says he wouldn’t be where he is without the support of others.

“It’s honorable to be up there in front of everybody to show my achievements, but everybody else that’s helped me get to that point as well,” Jorstad said. “Whether it’s the Eagle Battalion ROTC Program, or my friends and family who have gotten me to where I am now.”

Jorstad says that all cadets who graduate with ROTC become an officer.

He added he’s excited to start the same path for future cadets.

Lieutenant Colonel Erik Archer says he appreciates what Jorstad brought to the ROTC.

“Justin’s a fantastic cadet,” Archer said. “I tell you, he’s like one of the best in the program. It’s a great army story. He’s an aviator, so he’ll fly helicopters…So there’s a lot of great things about Justin. He’s the ideal guy to be our first.”

Jorstad graduated with a degree in marketing.

He says he will start his initial training as an aviation officer in Alabama.

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