PNWU's Alicia Latta is Sworn Into U.S. Air Force as Second Lieutenant

On Friday, August 11, in the shadow of PNWU’s Butler-Haney Hall, first year osteopathic medical student Alicia Latta raised her right hand and took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The stars and stripes of The American flag swayed beside her right shoulder in the August breeze as fellow classmate and Second Lieutenant of the U.S. Army Medical Corps Preston DeHan looked on proudly.

“I wanted to attend the ceremony to take on a supportive role,” explained Lieutenant DeHan. “Being commissioned is a big deal, and I wanted to display my support and pride that another colleague answered the call to military medicine. Another military medical student shows PNWU's commitment to servicing this nation’s military members.”

“I have always been interested in military medicine,” DeHan said of his decision to join the Army. “The brave men and women who serve this nation deserve a high level of care that is not always available. I wanted to do my part to serve those who serve us. I chose the Army because I figured it would give me the best chance to get boots on the ground closest to where soldiers need good health care.”

Latta’s decision to join the ranks of the Air Force was rooted early on in her life, listening to the tales of her grandfather, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force.

“While I didn’t grow up directly in the armed forces, I remember being fascinated with the military lifestyle,” she explained. “This opportunity has allowed me to create a bond with my grandfather that I never thought possible.”

Dressed in his Airman Battle Uniform and presiding over the commissioning was U.S.A.F. Second Lieutenant Ryan Carfi, another PNWU student who, just this past February, stood beside the same Star-Spangled Banner and uttered the same words he now dictated to Latta.

“It was really neat,” said Carfi of the commissioning. “In February, a now 3rd year [PNWU medical student] commissioned me in front of my peers and the flag. It was a great experience to be able to do the same for someone else and help begin their path into military officership.”

As Lieutenant Latta uttered the final words of her oath, Carfi couldn’t help but smile.

“PNWU is very pro-veteran and military medicine,” he said after the ceremony. “It is awesome to see more individuals joining the U.S. military and strengthening those bonds.”

“It was such a privilege to be able to formally take my oath from Lieutenant Ryan Carfi in front of the doors of PNWU,” said Lieutenant Latta. “I will forever be grateful to both him, Sgt. Terry (the Air Force recruiter present during the commissioning) and Lieutenant DeHan for beginning my career in the Air Force in such a memorable way. Their attendance is a reminder of the strong support and sense of community shared among not only military members, but members of the PNWU family.  I don’t think I could have asked for a better way to wrap up orientation week and dive head first into my medical education.”