Moravian nursing student joins Navy
Kerry Cheever administers the oath of service to Christine Peterlin '14.
Photo by Brenda Lange
Christine Peterlin ’14 stood proudly at attention the morning of May 3, raised her right hand and repeated a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
She will do this as an officer in the U.S. Navy, beginning shortly after she graduates in May 2014.
Kerry Cheever, professor of nursing and department chair, and retired Navy Commander, administered the oath of service to Peterlin in the Snyder Room, which was packed with family, friends and members of the Moravian community, there to wish her well.
Cheever said after the ceremony that she was proud of Peterlin’s determination and explained the student’s next steps.
“Christine received a Navy Nurse Corps scholarship for her senior year,” said Cheever. “She was sworn in at the rank of a petty officer second class, the rank she will hold until such time as she fulfills all of her nursing program graduation requirements at the end of next year. She will then be commissioned as a naval officer, at the rank of ensign.”
Smiling and showing few of the nerves she claimed later, Peterlin repeated the oath after Cheever to applause from those in attendance. After her graduation, the nursing student will report to Rhode Island for six weeks of officer training, before being shipped to the first assignment of her five-year commitment.
“I might go to California or Maryland or Virginia,” she said. “I don’t know exactly what area [of nursing] I’ll specialize in yet, but I loved what the Navy had to offer and I do want to see the world. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect [about the swearing in ceremony] but having Dr. Cheever commission me was such an honor.
“I feel that Moravian, especially the nursing department, has prepared me tremendously for my journey into the Navy,” she said. “The greatest thing that my teachers and friends do is give me motivation, and challenge me to push myself and work harder than I ever thought I could.”
Peterlin will join the ranks of military personnel who proudly serve the United States all around the world, including those who have ended their military service and now wish to continue or begin their education. A special program has been established by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans’ Affairs to benefit those who have served after September 11, 2001, and Moravian is an institution that actively participates in it.
“Moravian College has recently formed a Veterans’ Task Force whose mission is to actively and knowledgeably recruit and support student veterans and their dependents so they are provided an excellent educational experience,” says Carole Reese, director of institutional research.
The Yellow Ribbon Program provides benefits that are part of the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and allows colleges to partner with the Veterans’ Administration to cover all or part of the tuition of eligible veterans and their dependents.
The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill covers anyone who has served in any branch of the military, for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001. Those who have served for a total of 36 months of active duty are eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Amounts of the financial assistance may vary by individual circumstances. Those interested in getting more information may contact Lexi Hay, assistant registrar and V.A. certifying official at 610-861-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Moravian’s task force is currently reviewing policies, heightening awareness about student veterans and their particular circumstances, finding practical ways to better support student veterans, and providing information and resources to the College community so that we can better serve our student veterans and foster their success,” adds Reese.