Five cadets promoted to second lieutenants during annual ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Five ROTC students in Alcorn State University’s Department of Military Science received a promotion in rank during the Department’s annual celebration.

The students were promoted to second lieutenants during the Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony Friday, May 7, at the Ray Johnson Assembly Room in the Extension and Research Complex.

Entering the Army ROTC program was one of Candace Baity’s best decisions. The biology major from El Paso, Texas, credits the program for challenging her to be the best in all endeavors.

“ROTC has revealed skills, capabilities, and character traits within me that I did not see,” said Baity. “I have been reborn as a capable leader and have been taught to carry myself with confidence and pride. The program has made me more resilient and significantly added to my work ethic. Reaching this point involved continuous challenges that removed me from my comfort zone and encouraged me to confront my weaknesses. I am thankful for each class and training that led me to become a better version of myself.”

The journey through ROTC has given Peterson Saint Cyrin, a physical therapy major from Port-de-Paix, Haiti, an experience that he will always cherish. He’s thankful for the wisdom passed to him by military veterans.

“My experience in ROTC at Alcorn has been marvelous,” said Cyrin. “I’ve experienced a lot during my time in ROTC. I am very thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, still learning, and the opportunity to work side-by-side with people from all walks of life.”

Teaching cadets how to be good leaders is a significant component of the program’s studies. For Kaitlan Jackson, a biology/pre-medicine major from Jackson, Mississippi, learning what it takes to be a leader is the best lesson she received during her studies.

“The program changed my life by giving me leadership skills and confidence,” said Jackson. “I was taught what it takes to be a good leader and how to set good examples by practicing ethical standards.”

Joining a program such as ROTC also shows commitment to serving others. Randia Reaves, an elementary education major from Titusville, Florida, wanted to play a larger role in society by uplifting others.

“I knew that joining the army meant that I would gain many life lessons and wanted to be a part of something big,” said Reaves.

Now that the students have completed their undergraduate tasks, they look forward to serving their country. Daquan Smith, a criminal justice/pre-law major from Bronx, New York, is grateful to his teachers for instilling in him what it takes to be a leader in the military.

“I am elated to provide service and duty to this country,” said Smith. “It feels great to be among some of the greatest thinking leaders this country can provide. The Alcorn staff and ROTC cadre truly care for their students. They have not allowed me to fail as a student or person.”

Watching her students excel gave Lieutenant Colonel Christian Newton much joy. She’s proud of all that they have accomplished.

“I’m beyond proud of this commissioning class’ growth,” said Newton. “I met them as sophomores, and it does my heart well to see them mature and meet the qualifications to serve as U.S. Army officers. My prayer for them is that they will continue to grow, learn, and lead while sharing their leadership lessons with those who come after them.”