Departing as leaders

first_imgStanding on the steps of Memorial Church, near walls inscribed with the names of Harvard’s war dead, six graduating seniors swore allegiance to the Constitution on Wednesday and received their first salutes as officers in the armed forces.The tradition-filled Reserve Officers’ Training Corps commissioning ceremony, held before a small group of families and friends at Tercentenary Theatre, honored the new second lieutenants and ensigns at a time when leadership is badly needed, Harvard President Drew Faust said.Polls have shown that confidence in institutions is low, Faust noted, with public trust in government leaders below 30 percent and business leaders below 40 percent. Faith in the military, however, remains high, at more than 75 percent, likely because the military’s mission is a selfless one — to protect and defend others, no matter the personal cost — at a time when many seem to be out for themselves, Faust said.Those gaining their commissions were Kira Headrick (from left), Lauren Mandaville, John Holland, Michael Murray, Luke Pumiglia, and Rachel Milam. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“You are receiving your commissions at a moment of extraordinary challenge for our society and the wider world,” Faust said. “You are committing yourselves to be leaders at a moment when we never needed leaders more. And you have chosen to lead in an institution — the American military — that gives you very special opportunities and responsibilities in face of the troubling issues we confront.”As part of the ceremony, the new leaders took the oath of office, had their insignia of rank pinned to their uniforms by family members or friends, and received their first salute. Gaining their commissions were Army 2nd Lts. Rachel Milam and Luke Pumiglia, Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Michael Murray, Navy Ensigns John Holland and Lauren Mandaville, and Air Force 2nd Lt. Kira Headrick.“It’s very humbling … to join something bigger than yourself,” said Pumiglia, who is heading to medical school at the University of Michigan in July, with plans to be an Army physician. Pumiglia said he joined Army ROTC largely because of the values and the dedication to service that his parents instilled in him as he grew up.“My parents raised me to have the same values that the Army shares, a [sense] of service, personal courage, respect, things like that,” Pumiglia said. “I kind of fell in love with a lot of the people and the ideals when I was in ROTC, and I signed on the dotted line in my sophomore year.”While at college, Gen. John Hyten ’81 was in the Air Force ROTC. He has served in the military for three decades and counting. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerHarvard’s relationship with the military is older than the country, dating to the Pequot War. Since that 1636 conflict, more than 1,200 from Harvard have lost their lives in military service, and 18 — more than from any other U.S. institution of higher education — have been recognized with the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award. Memorial Church, which honors those who have died in conflicts since World War I, is among several memorials to Harvard service members.Also speaking Wednesday was Gen. John Hyten ’81, who participated in Air Force ROTC before graduating. Hyten recalled his own commissioning, which took place at MIT because Harvard had ended ROTC’s formal University presence during the Vietnam War, and praised Faust for her efforts to return ROTC to campus, starting in 2011.Enoch Woodhouse (left), who served in World War II, is recognized by Gen. John Hyten during the ceremony. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff PhotographerAt the time of his commissioning, Hyten planned to serve his four-year obligation and then leave the Air Force. His plans changed. Now, three decades later, he is commander of U.S. Strategic Command, encompassing nuclear, cyber space, electronic warfare, missile defense, and other forces.Hyten told the newly commissioned officers that that their Harvard degrees, while something to be proud of, will matter little once they arrive at a base or on a ship. All that will matter then is their rank and the expectation that they will show leadership, even in difficult situations when people are in harm’s way.“Leadership is a gift, freely given by those who follow,” he said. “You have to be worthy.”last_img read more

SMC extends Earth Day celebration all week

first_imgThe Saint Mary’s community will celebrate Earth Day with a week of activities hosted by the College’s Environmental Action Coalition.Students will have the chance to assist in the Saint Mary’s Community Garden, located on the south side of Havican Hall on Wednesday evening, senior Coalition president Colette Curtis said.“We are encouraging members of the SMC community to be more involved to see the many benefits that come with having a community garden,[including] the importance of growing your own food and knowing where your food is from,” Curtis said.On Thursday, the average lunch waste per person will be measured during “Weigh Your Waste” in Noble Family dining hall, Curtis said.“During this lunch period, we separate all the ‘edibles’ from the ‘nonedibles’ on the trays,” Curtis said. “We weigh all the edibles.”Members of the Coalition will teach students how to reuse old t-shirts through a recyclable craft event Friday, and the week will celebrate locally grown food with a meal made of such ingredients Saturday, Curtis said.“I believe it is important to know your farmer, share meals with friends and community members and learn how to cook wholesome, healthy food,” Curtis said.Other activities include a nature walk Sunday and the showing of a film titled “Chasing Ice” on Monday, Curtis said.“The Environmental Action Coalition is a group dedicated to bringing environmental consciousness to the Saint Mary’s community,” Curtis said. “We host events and activities to promote the healthy treatment of our Earth.”After the week’s events, Curtis said she hopes students will become more aware of their impact on the environment.“I don’t expect students to change their whole way of living after attending one activity,” Curtis said. ”However, I hope they recognize the impact they have on our Earth and what they can do to live in harmony with all the natural things of our planet.”For more information on Earth Week events or to RSVP for Saturday’s dinner, contact Colette Curtis at [email protected]: colette curtis, Earth Day, earth week, environmental action coalition, weigh your wastelast_img read more

Brazilian Army Brings Internet to the Interior of the Amazon

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto/Diálogo July 18, 2017 In a region covered by forests and crossed by rivers that form natural water highways, the installation of underwater fiber optic cable has proved the best solution for bringing broadband to millions of citizens who live along the rivers. That is the proposal of the Interconnected Amazon Program, conceived and carried out by the Brazilian Army (EB, per its Portuguese acronym) in partnership with other organizations. “After six months of planning, this initiative completed its third stage in six days,” said EB Lieutenant General Decílio de Medeiros Sales, the director of the Department of Industrial Science and Technology at the Ministry of Defense, and general coordinator of the Interconnected Amazon Program. From May 8th to 14th, 600 kilometers of fiber optic cable was laid in the Solimões River, passing through the cities of Manaus, Maracapuru, and Coari, and in the Negro River, connecting Manaus to Novo Airão. “There is a structure of underwater cables coming in from other continents and arriving in Manaus along three lanes. By installing fiber optic cable along riverbeds, we are distributing the signal from Manaus to the interior of Amazonas [state],” Lt. Gen. Decílio explained. The section between Manaus and Coari is part of the so-called Alto Solimões information highway, which provides for the laying of cable through more than a dozen municipalities. The section from Manaus to Novo Airão incorporates the delta of Rio Negro’s information highway, which covers more than three localities on the route towards the western Amazon, arriving at São Gabriel da Cachoeira, a city located on Brazil’s border with Colombia and Venezuela, where EB has a base with special border platoons. Overall, the Interconnected Amazon Program is planning the construction of five information highways, interconnecting a total of 52 localities with nearly 8,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable. Eventually, nearly 3.8 million people should benefit from these broadband services. Building the network Nearly 20 EB service members participated in the third phase of the program. Among them, the Brasília-based team involved in the planning, and the personnel who laid the cable. Approximately 40 civilian professionals worked jointly with the latter group. Once laid in the water, fiber optic cable naturally settles on the riverbed. “Divers are needed only to help situate the cable at critical locations, where there are rocks, for example,” Lt. Gen. Decílio said. Finally, the structure reaches an anchoring point installed in previously determined cities. From the anchoring point, a connection is made between the underwater cable and the land-based cables, thereby enabling data transmission. The signal is preferentially directed towards military organizations, schools, health agencies, and other public agencies but the unused capacity can be commercialized for the general population. A public call for tenders is held for that purpose, in order to choose corporate providers interested in running the service. “One of the conditions is that the company offers a social package with an affordable price for the low-income population. In addition to that, we stipulate a price ceiling for service, which cannot exceed the prevailing price in Manaus,” Lt. Gen. Decílio emphasized. Past, present, and future “The fact today is internet and information technology services available in the interior of Amazonas state are quite precarious,” said EB Lieutenant Colonel Marcelo Corrêa Horewicz, the head of the 4th Area Telematics Center, who manages the program. His unit is under the Army Integrated Telematics Center (CITEx, per its Portuguese acronym) and is connected with the Amazon Military Command (CMA, per its Portuguese acronym). Lt. Col. Corrêa explained that the internet service used by people in the Amazon arrives mainly via satellite, and is often disrupted by local humidity and heavy rains. “There is a need for infrastructure that can keep the signal up at all times, and fiber optic cable is providing greater capacity for that,” Lt. Col. Corrêa stated. From that idea, the EB decided to test the possibility of laying fiber optic cable in the rivers through a pilot project developed in 2015. At that time, 10 kilometers of fiber optics were laid in Negro River to connect two military garrisons located in Manaus. The project worked and paved the way for the program to move forward to the rest of the Amazon. As for the next steps, Lt. Col. Corrêa stated that the program team is planning operations that will provide continuity to the information highway on the delta of Rio Negro, heading towards the city of Barcelos, and from the Alto Solimões information highway to the city of Fonte Boa, which is on the way to Tabatinga, a municipality in the tri-border region between Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. “That will be in the fourth stage of the program, which might also include the installation of cable in the Amazon River,” he said. In this case, the information highway will take the opposite route from previous ones, heading eastward, in the direction of the state of Pará.last_img read more