Elon senior commissioned into the U.S. Army

Owen Gaffney '17 participated in Elon's ROTC programs, which are offered in collaboration with N.C. A&T State University. 

Elon senior Owen Gaffney was commissioned into the U.S. Army on May 18, a day before he receives his diploma during Elon’s Commencement ceremony. 

Gaffney was joined by friends and family in Holt Chapel on Elon’s south campus as he took the oath of office from Captain Elizabeth Nhambure and received his first salute from his grandfather, Petty Officer William McCoy. His second lieutenant bars were pinned on his uniform by his parents, Owen and Mary Gaffney.  

The commissioning ceremony is the culmination of four years of training and marks the beginning of military service for Gaffney. In taking the oath of office, he swore to support and defend the U.S. Constitution. Each newly commissioned officer becomes an agent of the executive branch of the government, appointed by the president based on the secretary of defense’s signed officer nomination scroll for appointment of each candidate which has also been approved by the U.S. Senate. 

Gaffney is from Sandwich, Massachusetts, and will graduate magna cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in finance and accountancy from the Love School of Business. While attending Elon, Gaffney was inducted into the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Gamma Beta Sigma business honors society. He is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. 

He achieved the rank of Cadet Captain and served as a Cadet S3 Training Officer in the Aggie Battalion. Through ROTC he successfully completed the U.S. Army Air Assault Training Course at Fort Bragg, attended the Cultural Understanding & Language Proficiency Program in Burkina Faso, West Africa, and participated in Ranger Challenge program for three years. 

Gaffney was commissioned into the Army Military Police Branch where he will serve in the North Carolina National Guard. He begins his training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, in July.