Domineck Looks Forward to Career as Military Officer

No matter how much he wanted to deny it, recent Alcorn State University graduate Lawford Domineck Jr. was always destined to join the Army.

“It was inevitable,” said Domineck, who earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice during the Fall Commencement Exercise. “I was against the military because all of the men on my father’s side had served. I joined JROTC in high school and fell in love with the military lifestyle, so I joined the ROTC program at Alcorn in 2017 to see how far I could push myself. Four years later, I’m grateful that I joined.”

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, reached the culmination of his ROTC duties at Alcorn when he was commissioned to second lieutenant during the Department of Military Science's annual Commissioning Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 10. The accomplishment made Domineck look back over his journey. He's thankful to have hurdled every obstacle thrown at him.

“It was such an immense moment filled with relief and pride when I was finally commissioned. I couldn’t pass my physical training test during my first two years and thought about quitting because I was so frustrated. After developing sheer determination and doing extra workouts with upperclassmen, I could finally pass. I’ve been on the rise ever since. After four years of intense training and sacrificing my weekends and mornings, I can say that I crossed the finish line.”

The Army provides Domineck with many resources to lead him to a bright military career.

"Being in the military helped me develop my interpersonal skills and confidence. Also, it will give me free training and connections that I wouldn't have as a civilian."

Becoming an upstanding leader is important to Domineck. He appreciates the military's leadership training.

"Serving the United States means making a change for the better and being a leader for the Black community."

The leadership training paid off for Domineck as a student at the University. He put his skills to work by being the president of several student organizations, including the Honor's Student Organization and Mortar Board.

"The military contributed to my success as a leader. Before joining the military, I used to have anxiety speaking in public, especially to huge crowds. However, being in the military has built up my confidence, and I feel that I can do anything."

Besides being an incredible leader, Domineck also strives to achieve high-ranking positions in the Army. He hopes to be one of the few Black people to soar to the military's top ranks.

"I want to achieve the highest rank possible. There's such a small percentage of Black people in the Army, let alone black officers. I want to succeed as much as I can. My ultimate career goal is to work at the Pentagon."

Domineck appreciates the support he received from faculty and staff members in Military Science.

"I've learned numerous lessons in the Department of Military Science. The most valuable one is not to let your emotions limit your potential. Don't let your emotions affect the mission or your judgment. Lieutenant Colonel Jackey Fortenberry taught me a lot of valuable lessons that I will use in my military career and life."

In January, Domineck will begin his career as an active duty ordnance officer in Fort Lee, Virginia.