Across the United States, Military Appreciation Month is celebrated in May as a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month as a symbol of unity. In North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper issued a proclamation recognizing our state’s military presence as the third-largest in the nation, including about 120,000 active duty military personnel and their families as well as over 720,000 military veterans.
UNC Greensboro has a long history of supporting the U.S. military. For eight consecutive years, UNCG has been named a Military Friendly School. Additionally, the University is one of just two UNC System institutions to be recognized with a Military Friendly Gold award. For more information, visit military.uncg.edu.
UNCG continues to draw unprecedented numbers of military-affiliated students to enroll due to flexible class schedules, generous course credit acceptance policy, and faculty support. Graduates go on to successful careers following graduation.
A great example of UNCG’s connection to the military involves four members of the UNCG School of Nursing, starting with senior class president and 2020 graduate Ensign Quinton Smith. School of Nursing Professor Dr. Susan Letvak gave the Nightingale Pledge to Smith at his commissioning ceremony as an officer in the U.S. Navy, which was held in Smith’s hometown of Franklinville, North Carolina, in keeping with COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
The Nightingale Pledge is named after Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. The pledge is a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take, and focuses on principles that nurses are expected to uphold.
Letvak shared the significance of Smith’s accomplishment. “Being selected for the highly competitive U.S. Navy commissioning program is incredible. I am thrilled he chose the UNCG School of Nursing for his education,” Letvak said. “As a past Navy nurse myself, it was quite an honor for me to participate in his commissioning ceremony.”
“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to share my commissioning day with fellow service members and nurses,” Smith said. “Serving in the military has allowed me to be involved in something that makes an impact around the world. As a nurse, I hope to continue that impact for the rest of my life in both the military and civilian world.”
Smith received his first salute from Sergeant First Class Lenora Harley, the rising School of Nursing senior class president and a future Army Nurse Corps Officer. Ray Goodwin, a retired U.S. Navy Chief who just graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the School of Nursing, was the master of ceremonies.
Story by Eden Bloss, University Communications
Photography courtesy of Ensign Quinton Smith