I enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2012. I served a total of 4 years for our beautiful country. I currently attend the University of Southern Mississippi. I’m a senior cadet in the Army ROTC and will commission as a 2Lt in December 2016. I have an awesome family who have been very supportive and encouraging. Being in the Army has opened so many opportunities for my family and I. I feel very blessed and very thankful to be a future leader God has called me to be.
What prompted you to return to school?
I returned to school to further my education and pursue a commission in the US Army through the Army ROTC program.
Why did you choose The University of Southern Mississippi?
The University of Southern Mississippi has a beautiful campus and a great business program. Faculty and staff genuinely care and desire to help students succeed. The Army ROTC is also a great program which helps build future Army leaders, and to help others succeed. Southern Mississippi also has a full service Veterans Center that provides the utmost customer service and care deeply about helping Veterans and Dependents succeed in their educational goals.
What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use?
The education benefits I receive are the GI Bill and Army ROTC Stipend for being a Cadet.
What has your experience been like as a student?
My experience has been a great journey of achievements. I have had the pleasure of serving in many roles in the ROTC. I have served as Squad Leader, First Sergeant, Company Executive Officer, and I currently serve as the Battalion S1. I’ve enjoyed campus life, getting involved in community projects and attending sporting events with friends and family.
What challenges did you have adjusting to campus culture after military life?
I really didn’t have much of an adjustment because I was a full time student and full time cadet at school. I was managing both roles in my life. I consider myself a military student.
Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?
I do believe my military experience has made a huge impact in making me a better student. I was taught how to adapt in difficult situations and manage my time. Additionally, my military experience has helped me set my priorities from most important to least. I learned so much. Now I’m able to apply my military experience on a daily basis in school, at work, and even my personal life.
What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
Take advantage of free money (scholarships) offered by the Center for Military Veterans Service Members and Families. They offer a total of 14 scholarship opportunities available for Veterans, Service Members and Family dependents. Always have a desire to learn, and through school, you will have a chance to better your career opportunities. You will also set an example for others through your decision to attend school.
Remember, living is learning and there is always room to develop and grow. I hope you choose to stay in school and never give up. I didn’t give up and I’ve come a long way due to my dedication and persistence. I stayed Army Strong. Southern Miss to the Top!