(JACKSON, Miss.) — Jackson State University’s ROTC Tiger Battalion welcomed three new second lieutenants into the U.S. Army during a commissioning ceremony Dec. 3.
Brigadier Gen. (Ret.) Robert Crear joined Lt. Col. Steven C. Robinson, chair and professor of Military Science in the Department of Liberal Arts, in bestowing the new rank onto the former cadets.
As keynote speaker, Crear reminded the new officers that more than 8,000 men and women have earned gold bars at ceremonies such as these. Four general officers from the JSU ranks are among them, he said, with two having been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“The Tiger battalion has a legacy that you are now part of,” he said. He saluted Dr. John A. Peoples Jr., president emeritus of JSU, for his “great vision” to establish the program.
Other schools that are part of the Tiger Battalion include Belhaven University, Mississippi College, Tougaloo College, the University of Mississippi Nursing School, Hinds Community College, Delta State University and Mississippi Valley State University.
To the new lieutenants, Crear said, “You have a solid foundation from which to start your service and excel as officers of the U.S. Army.” He added, “You are special; you’re among those ready to serve and defend the dreams of others that set you apart.”
He also reminded them that they would be called leaders from this day forward and urged them to build on their leadership and integrity – calling the latter attribute the most important because “leadership is not possible without personal integrity.”
Along with those, Crear identified other characteristics of strong leaders: “Officers do not lie, steal or cheat and don’t allow others to do so. They lead by example.”
Furthermore, he noted that character counts, too, just like having the courage to do what is right and not what is popular. Even if standing alone, he said, officers must act and speak truth to power and practice common decency along with fairness and respect.
Crear said that despite the difficult times of the country and the world it’s the duty of the officer to look out for the families of those they will lead. And, he told officers to thank their own parents for the love and care they provided along the journey.
In urging the second lieutenants to always commit to excellence, he extolled their motto: “Right Stuff; Tiger Tuff.”
Meanwhile, Robinson added more sage wisdom, urging the new leaders to spend valuable time with their platoon sergeants and remember that all eyes are on them.
“You will always be watched by your soldiers, so do the right thing. Develop a plan and execute. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse are the keys to success.”
The three newly commissioned officers and their assignments:
- 2nd Lt. Emily Malcom, bachelor of arts in public relations, Belhaven University: National Guard Military police officer
- 2nd Lt. Logan Nave, bachelor of science in psychology, Jackson State University: Military Intelligence (MI)
- 2nd Lt. Latamla Culley-Triggs, bachelor of science in computer science, Jackson State University: Signal Corps officer