Penn College Army ROTC cadet receives commission

Published 12.16.2022

Human Services & Restorative Justice
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Pennsylvania College of Technology Army ROTC cadet Joshua E. Norris was commissioned as a second lieutenant Friday during an on-campus ceremony.

Norris, of Gratz, will be joining the Transportation Corps and has been assigned to the 228th Transportation Battalion, 131st Transportation Company of the Pennsylvania National Guard. The Dean’s List student is scheduled to receive a bachelor’s degree in human services & restorative justice during Fall Commencement on Dec. 17.

Army ROTC cadet Joshua E. Norris, of Gratz, Dauphin County (left), was commissioned as a second lieutenant during a ceremony at Pennsylvania College of Technology. The oath is administered by Lt. Col. Lance Shaffer, a Norris family friend.The newly commissioned officer marks the occasion with family: From left are grandfather Charles Schoffstall, mother Lori Norris, Cadet Norris, father David Norris and grandmother Louise Norris.“The transition from cadet to commissioned officer is inspiring,” said Carolyn R. Strickland, vice president for enrollment management and associate provost. “The ceremony is the culmination of rigorous training and study and marks the beginning of selfless dedication to our nation. All of us at the college are very proud of Joshua.”

A very special "Silver Dollar Salute"In addition to their regular college courses and activities, ROTC cadets take classes focusing on military science and leadership and engage in physical training three days a week to meet conditioning requirements. Each semester also includes a field training exercise. Upon commissioning, cadets commit to four years of active duty or eight years in the Army Reserve or National Guard.

Schoffstall poignantly presents his grandson with gifts steeped in emotion and solemn remembrance.The Penn College Army ROTC program is part of the Bald Eagle Battalion, headquartered at Lock Haven University. Other members of the battalion are Lycoming College and Lock Haven and Mansfield universities.

Lt. Col. John Acosta, professor of military science for the battalion, served as the officiating officer for Norris’ commissioning ceremony. Lt. Col. Lance Shaffer, a family friend, administered the oath.

Norris received his first salute from his grandfather, Charles Schoffstall, and was presented with an American flag and the Purple Heart earned by Schoffstall’s brother, who was killed in the Korean War.

For information on ROTC at Penn College, visit or email.

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