Commencement 2024: Fred Hoffman delivers keynote address at Pride of Pennsylvania Army ROTC Commissioning

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Portrait image of Fred Hoffman

Ӱֱ University Intelligence Studies Assistant Professor and U.S. Army Retired Lieutenant Colonel Fred Hoffman will be the keynote speaker at the university’s annual Pride of PA Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on Friday, May 10, as part of the weekend’s Commencement 2024 events.

Ӱֱ President Kathleen A. Getz, Ph.D., will open the ceremony with welcoming remarks at 1 p.m. in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, where the following cadets will receive their commission:

Theodore Counihan of Lancaster, New York, is a Distinguished Military Graduate commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in the Infantry. A History major with a minor in Russian Studies, he served as the ROTC Battalion Commander during the spring semester. He was part of the ROTC Ranger Challenge team, as well as completed the Army Air Assault Course and Cadet Troop Leadership Training at Ft. Liberty, North Carolina. He is the son of Brian and Danielle Counihan.

Caroline Courtney of Getzville, New York, is a Distinguished Military Graduate commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in Aviation. An Intelligence Studies major with a minor in Political Science, she served as the ROTC Battalion Commander during the fall semester. She was part of the Ranger Challenge team and completed the Army Air Assault Course. She is the daughter of Robert and Barb Courtney and the sister of First Lieutenant John Courtney, Ӱֱ alumnus and 2022 commissionee.

Ryan Davey of Butler, Pennsylvania, is a Distinguished Military Graduate commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in the Infantry. An Applied Intelligence Studies major with a minor in Political Science, he served as the Battalion Operations Officer during the spring semester. He was part of the Ranger Challenge team and completed the Army Air Assault Course. He is the recipient of the 2024 Pride of Pennsylvania Donald W. Hoffman Leadership Award as the top senior cadet in the program. He is the son of Ed and Tina Davey.

Lillian English of Mentor, Ohio, is a Distinguished Military Graduate commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in the Infantry. A Criminal Justice major with a minor in Russian, she served as a Company Commander and Battalion Communications Officer during the spring semester. She was a member of the ROTC Drill team, Army 10-Miler team, and Bataan Memorial Death March squad co-captain. She is the daughter of Brian and Christine English.

Jackson Feiock of Erie, Pennsylvania, is commissioning as part of the Educational Delay Program as a Chaplain Candidate. Upon completion of his Master of Divinity, he will be appointed as an active duty Army Chaplain. An Intelligence Studies major with a minor in Religion, he served as the Battalion Public Affairs Officer during the fall semester. He was a member of the Ranger Challenge team and a Color Guard Captain. He is the son of Shawn and Heather Feiock and husband of Maiya Harding.

Bethany Jentz of Williamsville, New York, is a Distinguished Military Graduate commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Corps. A double major in Intelligence Studies and Political Science, she served as the Battalion Operations Officer in the fall semester and Battalion Adjutant during the spring semester. She was a member of the Ranger Challenge team and Color Guard and completed Cadet Troop Leadership Training at Fort Moore, Georgia. She is a recipient of the George C. Marshall Award and represented the program at the annual United States Army Cadet Command George C. Marshall Conference hosted by Major General Antonio V. Munera. She is the daughter of Ron and Denise Jentz.

Brett Zattoni of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, is commissioning as an active duty second lieutenant in the Military Police Corps. A Cyber Security major with a minor in Criminal Justice, he served as the Battalion Adjutant during the fall semester and was a member of the Ranger Challenge team. He is the son of Tom Zattoni (his mother passed away summer of 2022) and husband of McKenna Marchand.

“The Pride of Pennsylvania Battalion has a long history of singling out young people of exceptional promise, and I have every confidence that our faith in these soon-to-be second lieutenants will be fully and completely confirmed,” said Getz.

For his part, Hoffman will share highlights of his career, including 30 years in the military and multiple intelligence community organizations as a human intelligence officer and as a military attaché, serving in 28 different countries, including Afghanistan and the Balkans. To date, his favorite professional experience is witnessing the opening of the Berlin Wall firsthand. His least favorite is being in the Pentagon when the plane struck on Sept. 11, 2001.

Hoffman retired from the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel in 2013 and is a recipient of the Bronze Star, DIA Director’s Award, and Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

Prior to becoming a member of the faculty at Ӱֱ, Hoffman taught as an Associate Professor of Military Science at The Johns Hopkins University, where he taught courses on national security and the intelligence community. Hoffman also has more than six years of experience as a competitive intelligence professional in the private sector.

PHOTO: Fred Hoffman