The man in charge of leading cadets in the Mount Rushmore ROTC Battalion is retiring after 20 years of military service, the last four of which were in Rapid City.
In a change of command ceremony Friday morning at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Hasse officially handed over leadership of the cadets to Major Lynna Speier.
Major Speier will lead around 120 cadets enrolled in ROTC as a class.
The ROTC program started at the school in 1950, and now encompasses satellite locations at Black Hills State University and Chadron State College.
Lieutenant Colonel Hasse will undoubtedly be missed. Under his leadership, the battalion saw the highest number of commissioned officers in the program's history.
Hasse says this latest assignment was a great way to end his military career. "The opportunity to serve as an active duty officer in the Black Hills is just a great place, my wife being from here and having become a lieutenant through the School of Mines - you can't pick a better place to close out your military career, serving with great soldiers and a great community."
Hasse and his wife and children plan to stay in the area following his retirement.