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Army ROTC Commander receives promotion to lieutenant colonel

Professor of Military Science Andrew Taylor will receive his silver oak leaf pins for his promotion to lieutenant colonel on Friday, Dec. 11, in a ceremony at the Bataan Memorial in Veterans Park.

NMSU Army ROTC Commander Andrew Taylor will receive his promotion to lieutenant colonel in a pinning ceremony at the Bataan Memorial in Veterans Park on Friday, Dec. 11. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Taylor, who has been eligible for promotion since July, opted for his wife, his two children, his parents and his non-commissioned officer in charge, Master Sgt. Jose Castro, to fasten the pins to his shoulder boards and beret?Something, he said, that would represent his past, present and future.

"It's really pride through hard and rewarding work," Taylor said, describing what the promotion means to him. "It's been a long hard haul. My family, soldiers, NCOs and officers?it's also their promotion."

Taylor said having his brigade commander, Col. Verb Washington, come in from Fort Sam Houston was an opportunity he seized so that later in the evening Washington would be able to attend the commissioning of two lieutenants from the program.

The short ceremony consists of the senior officer reading the orders and giving some background and personal remarks. Taylor will speak, followed by his pinning. Washington, who aided Taylor in securing his position at NMSU, is stationed in San Antonio at the 5th ROTC Brigade Command Headquarters.

"I'd like the cadets to be there, if nothing else than to hear Col. Washington speak," Taylor said. "We chose that location because we are the Bataan Battalion and it means a lot to acknowledge our past through local veterans."

Taylor also acknowledged and thanked NMSU for its constant support. He said it continues to baffle him and his wife the amount of help and encouragement that comes from the campus and the community.

"To those of us who work with him, we immediately recognized that Andy was a special officer and leader," said NMSU Air Force ROTC commander Lt. Col. Steve Groll. "His recent deployment experience and commitment to developing only the best commissioned Army officers means he'll continue the heralded legacy of Army ROTC at NMSU."

Bataan Battalion Executive Officer Maj. Agustin Nakamoto commented on Taylor's genuine care for his staff and the Corps of Cadets. He also noted Taylor's combat time in Iraq and how it has cultured a deep sense of duty and loyalty in training future U.S. Army officers with a tough love approach.

"Simultaneously, his methods of teaching, advising and counseling our cadets in leadership skills, Army values and the expectations of their future commanders have earned him the admiration of the staff, cadets and university officials," Nakamoto said.

"It doesn't matter what color his uniform nor the rank on his shoulders, what matters the most is his dedication to service," Groll said.

Broadcast Advisory: New Mexico State University Army ROTC Commander Andrew Taylor will be promoted to lieutenant colonel at the Bataan Memorial in Las Cruces' Veterans Park at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11. His wife, two children and NCO, Master Sgt. Jose Castro, will be pinning Taylor. Brigade Commander Col. Verb Washington will make his way from Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas to officiate the ceremony.