Alcornite Dr. David Maxwell promoted to colonel during ROTC’s 50th year celebration

An Alcornite and former lieutenant colonel and Alcorn State University’s ROTC program celebrated milestones last Friday.

Dr. David Maxwell was promoted to the esteemed rank of colonel during a ceremony Friday, Feb. 25, in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Facility – Gold Room. The event took place during the Department of Military Sciences’ celebration of 50 years of ROTC on campus.

Maxwell, a Holly Springs, Mississippi native, graduated from Alcorn in 1996. He earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Meharry Medical College in 2005. Maxwell completed a general practice residency at Metro Nashville General Hospital in 2006. He served as director of Dental Services at the Martin Luther King Family clinic in Dallas from 2006-2009 until he established and became the CEO of a private practice, Maximum Smiles Dental Center, in Rockwall, Texas.

Maxwell has been a proud member of our Armed Forces since joining the Mississippi Army National Guard at 17 as an M60A3 Armored Tank Crewman. Maxwell is currently enrolled in Long Term Health Education Training, receiving specialized dental training as a comprehensive dentist. He is scheduled to complete residency and training, wherein he will also be awarded a master’s degree in oral biology.

The Alcorn State University ROTC program was chartered in 1971 by Lieutenant Colonel Charles D. Randal and Sergeant First Class Deloy Wade. The program, launched during the fall of that school year, focused on producing quality leaders to serve in the United States Army. Alcorn offers a world-class leadership development program that offers scholarships, training, and an unmatched opportunity for personal development.

“Celebrating 50 years on campus signifies a long-standing history of producing excellence in leadership and academics,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jackey Fortenberry, an assistant professor in the program. “The program has commissioned hundreds of cadets who have gone forward to lead at every level in the United States Army, Army Reserve, and National Guard. We are immensely grateful to the graduates of the program as well as our military science professors for their continued dedication to the University and our nation.”

Fortenberry is proud to play a role in the program’s success.

“It is truly an honor to be a part of this significant moment at Alcorn. This program provides cadets with leadership and managerial skills that will enable them to flourish in the Army and civilian sectors. Cadets receive a top-notch education at a renowned HBCU from talented and dedicated educators. Students are prepared to meet complex global challenges as Armed services members upon graduation. The University's investment in the program results in high caliber cadets.”

Fortenberry applauds Maxwell for his promotion and for being an excellent example for young cadets to follow.

“Dr. Maxwell’s promotion in the United States Dental Corps is well deserved and a great highlight for our cadets. This significant accomplishment shows our cadets that anything is achievable in the United States Army if they choose to work hard and stay the course.”

Earning the highly desired rank of colonel is an achievement that Maxwell will forever cherish.

“I feel blessed and fortunate to have accomplished this milestone in my career,” said Maxwell. “The promotion to colonel is a coveted one, as only two percent of officers will achieve this rank.”

Aspiring to inspire Alcorn cadets to dream big led Maxwell to choose his alma mater as the host site for his promotion ceremony. 

“Alcorn’s cadets inspired me to select the University as the place for my promotion. I started my leadership journey and became an Army officer here over 25 years ago. My career as an Army officer and medical professional has been a steady progression. I have had setbacks, yet, I have refused to take no for an answer. I always strive to get to a yes while pursuing achievements to the best of my God-given abilities. Today’s cadets must see how a career as an officer looks. If they can see it, they can be it.”

Celebrating his milestone is a full-circle moment for Maxwell. He’s proud of the program that gave him a foundation to become an upstanding leader.

“Being promoted during the program’s 50th-year celebration means that the Army got it right in choosing to place an officer’s training program here. I hope it signals to those who came before me that Alcorn is still producing high-caliber leaders.”

He continued, “The Army routinely evaluates officer training programs throughout the country to ensure that those ROTC programs meet its mission in producing a significant quantity of officers capable of leading soldiers into battle to fight and win our nation’s wars. The fact that ROTC is still producing leaders here 50 years later is a testament to the University’s support for the program and the quality cadre that train these young people. I am proud to be a product of this program, and there is no better place that I could have chosen to take my oath to colonel.”