Four SC State ROTC cadets to receive U.S. Army commissions

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

ORANGEBURG – For 60 years, the South Carolina State University ROTC Program has commissioned nearly 2,000 second lieutenants in the United States Army, including eleven cadets who have achieved the rank of General Officer.

Four “Bulldog Battalion” cadets will soon join those ranks.

The Spring 2007 SC State Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 11, 2007, at 2 p.m. in the Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the SC State campus. Colonel Antonio S. Coleman, ‘84, will serve as the distinguished speaker.

Four cadets are scheduled to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army, including Jason Alston, Branched Infantry; Terrell McNichols, Branched Infantry; Christian Apraez, Branched Nursing Corps; Otis Uwagbia, Branched Quarter Master Corps.

For additional information on the Commissioning Ceremony, please contact Lt. Col. Heyward Stackhouse at (803) 536-8878.

Colonel Antonio S. Coleman, ‘84, currently serves as Deputy Executive Director, Directorate of Materiel Process Management J-33, Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va. His most recent assignment was Chief, Retail Integration Division (J-333).

Col. Coleman was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Armor Corps through ROTC in 1984. Col. Coleman’s first assignment was Armor Platoon Leader in the 4th Battalion, 40th Armor, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo. He served as a Scout Platoon Leader and Executive Officer. After a branch transfer to Quartermaster Corps, he served as a Supply Platoon Leader in the 204th Support Battalion. He served a tour in Korea as the Subsistence Officer for the 19th Support Command. Col. Coleman's next tour was Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served as Logistics Plans Officer, 530th Supply and Service Battalion; Commander, 259th Field Service Company and S 4, Headquarters, 46th Support Group, 1st Corps Support Command. He served as an Intern, Office of the Under Secretary Defense, Personnel and Readiness (OUSD (P&R)).

Col. Coleman’s next tour was Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, Department of the Army. He served in the Directorate for Security Assistance and Directorate for Resource Management. Following Command and General Staff College, he served two years at Fort Hood as Support Operations Officer, 15th FSB and Materiel Management Chief, 1st Cavalry Division and Division. Col. Coleman returned to the Pentagon and served two years as the Quartermaster and Functional Area 90 Personnel System Staff Officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters, Department Army. From 2001 to 2003, Col. Coleman commanded the 501st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Armored Division in Friedberg Germany and Iraq. Following command, he served as Supply Officer, C4, Combined Joint Task Force-7 (CJTF-7), Iraq. Upon redeployment, he continued service as Supply Officer, G4, 5th Corps, Heidelberg, Germany. Prior to assignment at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Fort Belvior, Va., he attended the Industrial College of the Armed Forces (ICAF) at Fort McNair, Washington D.C.

Col. Coleman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from SC State, a Master of Arts degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University and a Master’s of Science Degree in National Resource Strategy from ICAF. His military schooling includes the Armor Officer Basic Course (1984), Airborne School (1984), Quartermaster Officer Advance Course (1988), Aerial Delivery Management Course (1989), Combined Arms Services Staff School (1990) and Command and General Staff College (1997).

Col. Coleman’s military decorations and awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (4th OLC), Joint Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (2nd OLC), Joint Achievement Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster—OLC), Army Achievement Medal (2nd OLC), National Defense Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 Bronze Stars), Global War on Terrorism Expedition Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Department of Defense Staff Badge and Army Staff Badge. His special skill badges include Parachutist Badge and the Parachute Rigger Badge.

Col. Coleman is married to the former Marlene Hemmingway of Marion, S.C. They have two daughters, Ashley and Lauren.

The Department of Military Science was established at South Carolina State University (formerly South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College) during the 1947-48 academic year. The first graduating class in 1949 consisted of six cadets: five received Regular Army commissions and one received a Reserve commission. Since the establishment of Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at SC State, 1,993 students have received commissions in the United States Armed Forces (as of Dec. 31, 2006).

The Army ROTC program was initially branch material, producing only Infantry officers. The program was supplanted in 1954 by the General Military Science Program, enabling graduating cadets to select the branch of the Army in which they were most interested and qualified. From 1947 until 1968, enrollment in the ROTC program was mandatory for able-bodied freshman and sophomore male students.

A cross-enrollment program was initiated in 1968 to permit students from other local institutions without an ROTC program to receive training at SC State and remain at the institution of their choice. To date, SC State has a cross-enrollment agreement with Claflin University, Voorhees College, Denmark Technical College and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

During the 1972-73 academic year, the Department of the Army initiated, on a trial basis, a five-year program of enrolling women in ROTC. SC State was one of ten institutions selected nationwide to participate in the pilot program. The first female cadets graduated in 1976. Since that time, SC State has commissioned 254 female officers.

To date, eleven South Carolina State University Army ROTC graduates have achieved the rank of General Officer: Brigadier General (Retired) George B. Price, ‘51; Major General (Retired) James R. Klugh, ‘53; Lieutenant General (Retired) Henry Doctor, Jr., ‘54; Major General George F. Bowman, ‘69, (United States Army National Guard); Brigadier General (Retired) Julius Lawton, ‘69 (United States Army National Guard); Brigadier General Harold L. Mitchell, ‘72 (United States Air Force); Major General Larry Knightner, ‘72 (United States Army Reserves); Major General Abraham J. Turner, ‘76; Brigadier General Nolen V. Bivens, ‘76; and Brigadier General Frederick J. Johnson, ‘76. Brigadier General Amos M. Gailliard, ‘51 (United States Army National Guard), began his distinguished military career at SC State’s Army ROTC program.

In addition, two other SC State graduates have achieved the rank of General Officer in the United States Marine Corps: Major General Arnold Fields, ‘68, and Major General Clifford L. Stanley, ‘69.

The Bulldog Battalion currently averages approximately 100 cadets and is still recognized as one of the largest producer of minority officers for the United States Army.