Jackson State University commissioned two cadets to second lieutenants on Thursday, a day before they joined their peers to receive their degrees Friday morning inside the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center.
Col. Rodney Harris of the Mississippi Army National Guard delivered the keynote address in the Terry L. Woodard Ballroom in the Student Center. He extolled wisdom and advice to the new leaders. Harris is the full-time deputy chief of staff for Personnel with the Mississippi Army National Guard. He provides human resource management oversight to the adjutant general of Mississippi for more than 9,600 service members.
Army welcomes Hobson and Hines
The two second lieutenants are Antoine M. Hobson, a native of Jackson, and Christopher A. Hines, a native of Batesville.
Hobson earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science in JSU’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology. He commissioned into the Army National Guard.
Hobson said, “I didn’t see myself here today. I just thought I would enlist in the military, but I decided to make a change to become a leader. He’s a first-generation soldier and first-generation Army officer.”
He will train in Fort Gordon, Georgia, in the Signal Basic Officer Leader Course, and then onward to Nebraska.
“I feel like the Tiger Battalion has really prepared me for this moment. For anyone else considering this as an option, it’s all worth it. The Army needs leaders.”
Meanwhile, Hines earned his master’s degree in criminology in JSU’s College of Liberal Arts. Of his commissioning, Hines said, “Words can’t explain this moment. It’s another milestone that will be challenging, but I can handle it and become successful. I want to become a great officer.”
‘Right time, right place, right uniform’
He will be stationed in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for four months, followed by his first duty assignment. He’ll be in the active Army in the field artillery branch. He’s a third-generation solider and first-generation college graduate and Army officer.
The new second lieutenants prepared themselves for their new roles under the leadership of Major Steven C. Robinson, the department chair and professor of military science in the College of Liberal Arts. Robinson’s promotion ceremony to lieutenant colonel will be at 3 p.m. Jan. 16, 2020, in Room 134, inside the College of Business.
Of the new officers, Robinson said, “We worked to get them back to the basics and teach them to maintain standards. I advised them about the right time, right place, right uniform. Would you want your kids to follow someone who’s always late? I tell them that little things can turn into big things. These cadets get better every year. I love this ROTC program, and I love the cadets.”