Cadets rise in rank at Alcorn’s Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Three standout cadets at Alcorn State University were rewarded for their dedication and patriotism.

Shirissa Thompson, Jessica Turner and Laterrence Wilson were promoted to second lieutenant at the Spring 2017 Commissioning Ceremony Friday, May 5 at the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Brigadier General Donna R. Williams was the keynote speaker.

Williams, a Vicksburg, Mississippi native, is currently assigned as the deputy commanding general-support at the 412 Theater Engineer Command in Vicksburg. Prior to her current role, she was the garrison commander at Fort Hunter Liggett, California.

During her speech, Williams shed light of key qualities that the new second lieutenants need to be successful. She spoke about the importance of being leaders and what role they should play among their subordinates.

“A leader is a professional who demonstrates character in their decisions and actions,” said Williams. “Leaders display unquestionable commitment to the mission despite the risks, challenges and adversities. Do everything that you ask of those who you command. Don’t just send them out to do everything; show them that you can do the job as well.”

Another quality that Williams spoke on was the ability to lead in making positive changes. She said being a leader in changing things requires one to be proficient in effective listening.

“Leading change is a continuous process that perpetuates individual and organizational growth. It requires steadfast determination and effective listening. You must get to know your subordinates and listen to their ideas to cause change. Change allows leaders to create new strategies and put them into action.”

Sharissa looks forward to the next chapter in her life.

“I’m really excited about achieving this milestone as I finish up my college education,” said Sharissa. “I’m ready to embrace my new role and work toward becoming the best second lieutenant that I can be.”

Jessica and Laterrence reflected on the hard work they put in to reach their commissioning.

“This is something that I’ve been working toward for a long time now, and to finally reach this moment is a significant moment for me,” said Jessica.

“I’ve overcome so much to get here, so to finally be commissioned is truly a blessing,” said Laterrence.

  • Commissioning 1 resized.jpg