LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Thursday, three active-duty military members took the first step towards becoming commissioned officers in the Army.
Three soldiers who have already been serving our country are heading back to school at Cameron University in hopes of taking a big career step forward.
“It’s always been my dream to become a commissioned officer in the United States Army so it’s very emotional for me today because it is such a huge step,” said Taitia Joseph. “It means everything because it’s a huge accomplishment. Coming from a small Caribbean Island to the United States, we don’t have many opportunities back home, so this is huge, this is overwhelming, it is.”
“I’ve been a college student before, I’ve been a soldier, I’m not entirely sure how being an ROTC student and full-time college student is going to be. It does feel a little weird being a civilian again, even if it’s only technically since I still belong to the Army,” said John Ausdemore.
“I feel so excited, I can’t wait for the classes to start so I’m just taking it one day at a time. Today I’m so happy and I thank God for granting me this opportunity,” said Prince Ezeh.
The soldiers are now students of the ROTC program at Cameron, receiving an education while also serving as a great asset for the department because of their on the job experience.
“More people knowing what they’re doing in one spot is never a bad thing. It’s also nice because they can informally go to someone who is in their class but maybe 5 or 10 years older than them and may have 5 or 10 more years’ experience in the Army and get those answered that they may not want to ask their instructor,” said Cameron University Military Science Professor Seth Hall.
This is part of the Green to Gold program at Cameron University which serves a crucial part in making sure the United States Army is full of great people going forward.
“The Army has a required of 5,900 new lieutenants each year so we all have our part to do to make sure the Army doesn’t have a shortfall in that category because that is huge,” said Cameron University Recruiting Operations Director Jeff Klosterman.
Once the soldiers complete their education, they will re-enter active duty at the rank of Second Lieutenant.