On Friday, May 10, 2013, Houghton College hosted a United States Army Commissioning ceremony for two graduating Houghton students, Cydney Blong and Emylianne Fujimura.
The ceremony included an invocation by U.S. Army veteran Rev. Olgerts Snledze, recognition given by Saint Bonaventure’s Assistant Professor of Military Science Captain Gregory H. Hayes, remarks by Houghton College President Shirley Mullen, and Blessing of the Bars by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Dr. Robert Danner. There was also the traditional Silver Dollar Salute in which a new second lieutenant proudly hands a shiny silver dollar to the first enlisted soldier, who salutes him or her.
Cydney Blong, originally from Seneca Falls, New York, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology/pre-physical therapy with minors in athletic training and military leadership.
During the summer of 2012, Blong traveled to the island of Oahu, Hawaii, for a three-week program, Cadet Troop Leadership Training, to shadow Army Medical Service officers in fields, such as preventive medicine and medical treatment. She also observed physical therapy at the medical clinic while at Schofield Barracks and completed a forty-hour Combat Life Saver course.
She also successfully completed the four-week Leadership Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington. In addition to being a student, Blong actively participated in ROTC events such as color guard, physical training at 6 a.m. every morning and weekend-long field training exercises each semester. She was also honored as a Distinguished Military Student this past fall.
Blong was very involved in the athletics program while at Houghton, being a part of the varsity soccer and track teams, as well as actively participating on the cross country and softball teams throughout the last four years. She is a member of the Sigma Zeta Math and Science Honor Society, and also held a part-time job her junior year in the Athletic Training Center at Houghton. These challenging commitments provided a great amount of growth in self-discipline, time management, and leadership skills through hands-on experience.
Upon commissioning as a second lieutenant in the Army, Blong will be spending her summer at Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, where she will be a member of the Cadre for Warrior Forge 2013. Following this assignment, she will begin her Ordnance Officer Basic Course on September 22 at Fort Lee, Virginia, and will report to her first duty station at Fort Irwin, California, on March 5.
Emylianne Fujimura, from Fairport, New York, will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a track in pre-medicine and minors in chemistry and military leadership.
She will begin her military service as a Reserve Duty Medical Service officer in Colorado. During the summer of 2012, she completed a four-week training program, Cadet Troop Leadership Training, in the Republic of Korea, where she spent time shadowing a Signal Corps officer as well as a Medical Service officer in Uijeongbu, Korea.
She also completed a four-week Leadership Development and Assessment course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
Fujimura was an active participant in the ROTC program at Houghton, participating in events such as color guard, physical training at 6 a.m., and weekend-long field training exercises each semester. She was also an athlete on the Houghton varsity cross country team and served as a team captain on the varsity track and field team.
Fujimura is an active member of the Houghton Volunteer Fire Department as an emergency medical technician. She worked as a First- Year Introduction leader and a Freshman Orientation leader for two years. Fujimura also served at Houghton Wesleyan Church as a Sunday school teacher for four years. She worked as a teacher’s assistant and participated in numerous medical- and science- related internships, including a semester- long collaborative research project with Dr. James Wolfe. Her involvement on campus and in ROTC helped to develop leadership and time management skills, as well as hands-on training.
Second Lieutenant Fujimura is engaged to Second Lieutenant Theodore Taggart, a Field Artillery officer stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado.
Upon commissioning, Second Lieutenant Fujimura will begin training at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, on July 15, 2013, to become a Medical Service officer. She will serve in Colorado with the 5502 United States Reserve Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, and continue in pursuit of her professional medical career.