Five cadets promoted to 2nd lieutenant during Alcorn’s Winter Commissioning Ceremony

Coming to Alcorn State University unlocked Preston, Mississippi native Sade Hollins’ potential. She credits the University, specifically the Army ROTC Braves Battalion, for showing her that the possibilities are endless.

“My experience with the Braves Battalion helped me to realize that anything is possible and that the only thing that keeps you from reaching your dreams is a lack of discipline and knowledge,” said Hollins. “I have been blessed to encounter and train with some great people at Alcorn.”

Hollins and four other cadets achieved one of those possibilities when they were promoted to 2nd lieutenants during Alcorn’s Department of Military Science’s annual ROTC Winter Commissioning Ceremony Friday, Dec. 9, at the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Cleveland Allison Jr. from Hermanville, Mississippi, DaNeil Bridges from Meridian, Mississippi, Craig Philpot from Chicago, Illinois, and Ty Powell from Gulfport, Mississippi, rounded out this year’s commissioned cadets.

Colonel Tywana Robinson, who was commissioned to 2nd lieutenant in 1999, served as the event’s guest speaker. Robinson is the director of the Directorate of Training and Leader Development for the U.S. Army’s CBRN School in fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Robinson spoke about leadership qualities and how she admired the young soldiers for aspiring to become military leaders.

“Make a difference wherever life takes you,” said Robinson. “Leadership requires commitment and dedication. Leadership isn’t easy, which is why I commend you for taking on this role.

Robinson’s speech resonated with Allison. He appreciates the speaker and his Army instructors for guiding him in the right direction.

“The advice of Colonel Robinson and my leaders is instrumental to my success,” said Allison. “They have the experience, have been where I am going, and have seen what I will see in my Army career. Their advice is needed, and it is important to me.”

Achieving this feat for Bridges is special because of his dedication to finishing the race. Now that he’s been elevated in rank, he’s inspired to work even harder.

“This accomplishment means the world to me,” said Bridges. “It means a lot because of the sacrifices I’ve made to achieve this milestone. Once I realized why I pursued this goal, things became easier. Now, it’s time to work harder.”

The promotion allows Philpot to serve his country in a higher capacity.

“It feels great to serve my country,” said Philpot. “I am highly motivated to move forward and achieve all my goals in my new role. As a Black soldier and the first in my family to become a 2nd lieutenant, this means everything to me.”

As Powell prepares to exit the University, he’s thankful for the experience the Braves Battalion afforded him.

“My experience was phenomenal,” said Powell. “Without my leaders and my fellow cadets, I wouldn’t have made it through this journey. I’ve spent many long nights and early mornings working to achieve this accomplishment, and it feels great. I wouldn’t trade the journey for anything in the world.”

President Dr. Felecia M. Nave shared her appreciation for the cadets’ dedication to climbing the ranks of the Army.

“This is a proud moment,” said Nave. “This occasion is bitter-sweet because although we get to celebrate your accomplishments, but also, we have grown to know and love you and cherish you for all that you’ve added to the richness of the University; that makes it sad. We thank you for your service. You have represented the University with your excellence and gratitude. Enjoy your moment and be proud of what you have accomplished.”