Alumnus Col. Damon Harris named brigade commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team in New York

An Alcorn State University alumnus will oversee a unit of more than 5,000 soldiers.

Col. Damon Harris, who earned a bachelor’s degree and was commissioned by the U.S. Army to second lieutenant at Alcorn in 1997, was named commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Thursday, May 21, during a Change of Command Ceremony.

The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division in the United States Army based at Fort Drum, New York. Designated as a mountain warfare unit, the division is the only one of its size in the US military to receive intense specialized training for fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions.

Harris, a Leland, Mississippi native, recently served as deputy commander of the Train, Advise, and Assist Command-East and commander of Forward Operating Base Fenty, as part of Operation Resolute Support Afghanistan.

The change in command is a significant moment for Harris. He's proud of the exceeding the expectations of his career path.

“If you had asked me 23 years ago if I’d be responsible for an organization of about 5,000 soldiers, I would have said no,” said Harris. “I had no idea that I would be molded by peers, superiors, and subordinates that were preparing me for this day throughout my journey.”

Reaching this milestone in his career is a testament to Harris’ dedication to the Army. He looks forward to the journey ahead.

Having the opportunity to lead elite soldiers is an experience that Harris appreciates. His goal is to develop a bond with his soldiers and show that he has their best interest at heart.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to take command today. My priorities in life are God, family, this country, the Army, and the commando. Every day, I will work to earn your trust, and you have mine. As we work to develop a shared understanding of my intent, our mutual trust will grow deeper.”

Harris’ goal is to do his best at preparing his soldiers to serve the United States.

“I intend to make this the best brigade in our Army. Not for personal accolades, awards, or recognition, but for when the Army calls us into battle. We will deploy, fight, win, and return home.”

None of Harris’ success would be possible if it wasn’t for his start at Alcorn. He reflected on the University that set him on his journey.

“I love the Braves battalion. I still talk to all of my peers that I graduated and was commissioned with all the time. Whenever I get the chance, I visit the University and the great battalion that gave me my start in my military career.”