PITTSBURG, KS -- A group of Pittsburg State graduates transition fom civilians U.S. Army officers.
"It's a big weight off my shoulders, or I guess a new weight on my shoulders," says new Army officer, Callie Wheeler.
Newly-pinned gold bars add a couple more ounces to Wheelers uniform.
Wheeler was one of 17 Pittsburg State ROTC cadets who were commissioned as Second Lieutenants for the United States Army.
"Really amazing seeing all the support from family, friends and the community," says Wheeler.
Hundreds of people gathered at PSU's Veterans Memorial to watch the college grads take the oath to defend America.
"This is something I've worked for every day for four years," says Wheeler.
Wheeler followed her father's foot steps into military life, making it even more meaningful when he was the first to salute her as Second Lieutenant.
"It was really amazing. I've grown up seeing everything he's done through his career and I want to do that. I have so much pride when I see him in his uniform," sasy Wheeler.
Military Instructor Sergeant Forest Robins says he's very proud of the students.
"It's not the ultimate sacrifice but to have a young person in today's society be willing to sacrifice the unknown and what they're getting into, it's awesome," says Robins.
The recently commissioned officers will serve at bases at locations ranging from Kansas to Hawaii.