More than 75 cadets and midshipmen from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines visited the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently for the annual Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Day.
The annual event at LLNL is an opportunity for future military officers to learn more about LLNL, its mission and programs, and internship and career opportunities through the ROTC Internship Program and the Newly Commissioned Officer Program.
Barry Goldman, manager of the Military Student Program, welcomed attendees and provided a framework for the day, followed by remarks from Laboratory Director Emeritus George Miller; Peter Rodrik, deputy site manager, Livermore Field Office; and Col. George Sakaldasis (USAF, retired), deputy director for military/nuclear affairs at LLNL’s National Security Office (NSO).
“We want you to know that there are other organizations to consider outside of the Department of Defense that are a part of the national security establishment,” said Sakaldasis. “For the past 15 years or so, the Laboratory has been providing opportunities for ROTC cadets and midshipmen through a variety of programs.”
The daylong event included a Lab overview by Lt. Col. Holly R. Franz (USAF, retired), deputy for operations, NSO, along with table-top exhibits, tours and a special panel discussion on "An active duty perspective," led by Sakaldasis with Capt. Nathan W. Motz, Capt. Jack Ingber, Capt. Michael S. Sun and 1st Lt. Joshua R. Glass, from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. The panelists each discussed their own career pathways and answered questions.
Brig. Gen. Michael J. Lutton (USAF), NNSA’s principal assistant deputy administrator for military application, spoke to the future officers from his career experience serving the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
"Many thanks to the outstanding team of professionals at Lawrence Livermore that make a difference in our nation's security every day. I am proud to call them all teammates,” said Lutton. “Our nation needs to nurture and grow the intellectual foundation of our nuclear enterprise, and Lawrence Livermore's ROTC Day Program is a solid investment toward that goal."
Other distinguished visitors attending the event included Col. Tod Lyons, USMC, senior marine representative and associate dean of Research at the Naval Postgraduate School; Col. Jon Ellis, USA, deputy commander, Pacific Division, 75th Training Command, Camp Parks, and LTC Gerald Hall, USAR (AGR) garrison commander, Camp Parks.
Tour stops included the National Ignition Facility, the High Explosives Applications Facility, High Performance Computing and Advanced Conventional Munitions facilities.
“The cadets and midshipmen are always surprised to learn of the breadth of research performed at LLNL and its work in support of the military,” said Goldman. “By the end of the day, when asked, approximately two-thirds of the participants expressed an interest in returning for an internship before starting their military service.”