Throughout any culture or society there have always been various rites of passage; these are rituals or ceremonies signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood. One of the more unusual rites of passage I am familiar with is the commissioning of new Army officers; this ceremony in essence gives the officer a new name. It indicates a new stage in the individual's life, which they will carry with them from the time of passage through the rest of their life. .
Prior to becoming a commissioned officer the individual must prove himself or herself in various situations. One of the first is to obtain a bachelors degree from a recognized university, secondly they must demonstrate their ability to lead and command the respect of those under them through the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), various Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (AROTC) on Universities throughout the countries universities, or the Officer Candidate School (OCS). Following completion at the afore mentioned programs they must verify their abilities as an officer at the standardized National Advanced Leadership Camp. If the individual can pass all of these to standard they now have what it takes to go through the Rite of Passage, which is the Commissioning Ceremony.
The ceremony includes all the individuals who will be receiving their commission from the place where they received the most of their military training. Those future officers who graduated from George Mason University and the accompanying ROTC program will be commissioned as a group on the same day.
The ceremony is usually held at a place on the campus, such as a wide-open field with seats for guests, gymnasium, or large conference room. The location is decorated with the flags of the United States, the United States Army, the respective state flags for the location and those who are to be commissioned.