ROSEMOUNT -Twenty-five seniors took an oath of enlistment during the 10th annual military recognition ceremony May 16 at Rosemount High School.

This is the largest number of RHS seniors entering the military compared to past years, according to Denise Sullivan, the volunteer coordinator for the ceremony.

Sullivan, who grew up as a military child, said this is a special school event because each youth can be celebrated and honored before basic training and entering into a military career path.

Rosemount High School Brass Ensemble played prelude music and Rosemount High School Chamber Singers sang "The Star Spangled Banner" and the "Irish Blessing."

U.S. Navy Lt. Jesse J. Gale served spoke. The Minnesotan is assigned to the Fleet Logistics Center in Norfolk, Va. His personal military awards include U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps achievement medals.

"He flew home to do this for us and it was pretty significant that he helped us and it was neat because he is a District 196 kids as an Eagan High School graduate," Sullivan said.

"He told the kids that he had no idea what he wanted to do in high school, and he had a lot of screw ups and he said if I am here all these years later, then you can do it and anyone can do it," Sullivan said.

Gale's said serving in the military can be viewed as a chance to start over, creating a new identity and a new path in life. He then led the seniors as they took an oath of enlistment to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and protect the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Retired educators Rod and Nancy Smith again paid for the speaker and fund refreshments. He served for years as a U.S. Navy reservist.

Sullivan added, "This ceremony is a celebration and recognition for those who are going to serve and we are saying thank you for this and for committing time to our country."