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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Brigadier General V. Nolen Bivens, ‘78, will deliver keynote address at commissioning ceremony

Over the past 60 years, the SC State University Army ROTC Program has commissioned more than 2,000 second lieutenants in the United States Army, including 11 cadets who have achieved the rank of General Officer in the U.S. Army and two who have achieved that rank in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Four “Bulldog Battalion” cadets will join those ranks later this week.

The Fall 2007 SC State Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will be held on Friday, Dec. 14, at 2 p.m. in the Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building. Brigadier General V. Nolen Bivens, a 1978 SC State alumnus and chief of staff of the U.S. Southern Command, will serve as the distinguished speaker.

Four cadets are scheduled to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army, including Alesia Hughes, Chemical Service; Michael Mills, Ordnance; Ivory Meminger, Quartermaster Corps; and Thomas Presley, Ordnance.

For additional information on the commissioning ceremony, please contact Captain Erica Gilbert at (803) 536-8526 or

Brigadier General V. Nolen Bivens
was commissioned an infantry second lieutenant upon graduation from SC State in 1976. His career began with the 9th Infantry Division in Fort Lewis, Wash., where he served as an infantry and mortar platoon leader, Assistant S-3 Air Operations, and as a rifle company commander.

After the Infantry Advanced Course, he served with the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. Bivens next attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., followed by duty as a test design and operations research and systems analyst with the Combat Development Experimentation Center in Fort Ord, Calif.

Following studies at the Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., he was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany, where he served as chief of the Force Development and Integration Division; as battalion executive officer for the 2nd Battalion, 15th Infantry; and as the deputy chief of staff, G-3 Training, 3rd Infantry Division.

Brigadier General Bivens commanded the 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Ga., and the Basic Combat Training Brigade, Fort Benning, Ga. He also served as assistant division commander (Maneuver) for the 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Hood, Texas. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, he served as deputy director of regional operations, Coalition Provision Authority, and as assistant chief of staff, C-3, Coalition Forces Land Component Command during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Kuwait.

His Army staff assignments have included operations research and systems analyst for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition; a program integrator for the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation, Office of the Army Chief of Staff; and deputy director for Requirements, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3, United States Army.

Joint staff assignments have included Division Chief, Support Agency, Reform and Assessment Division, Joint Warfare Capability Assessment Directorate; and chief of staff – executive officer for the Director of Resources, Requirements and Force Structure the Joint Staff (J9). He has also served in combatant commands as Chief of the Combat Analysis, War Gaming and Simulation Division, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; and Bivens currently serves as chief of staff, U.S. Southern Command, Miami, Fla.

Bivens’ military education includes Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Army Command and Staff College, U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the National War College. In his civilian studies, he holds an undergraduate degree in chemistry, a Master in Management and Operations Research, and a Master of National Security and Strategic Studies.

Bivens’ decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Expert Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge, and Army Staff Identification Badge.

The Department of Military Science was established at SC State during 1947-48 academic year. The first graduating class in 1949 consisted of six cadets; five received Regular Army Commissions and one a Reserve Commission. Since the establishment of the ROTC Program at SC State, 2,000 students have received commissions in the U.S. Armed Forces (as of July 2007).

During the 1972-73 academic year, the Department of the Army initiated, on a trial basis, a five-year program of enrolling women into the ROTC program. SC State was one of ten institutions selected nationwide to participate in this program. The first female cadets graduated in 1976, and SC State has since commissioned 253 females.

To date, ten SC State Army ROTC graduates have achieved the rank of General Officer, including Brigadier General (Retired) George B. Price, ‘51; Major General (Retired) James R. Klugh, ‘53; Lieutenant General (Retired) Henry Doctor, Jr. ‘54; and Major General George F. Bowman, ‘69; (U.S. Army Reserves); Brigadier General Harold L. Mitchell, ‘72 (U.S. Marine Corps); Major General Larry Knightner, ‘72 (U.S. Army Reserves); Major General Abraham J. Turner, ’76; Brigadier General V. Nolen Bivens, ’76; and Brigadier General Frederick J. Johnson, ’76, and Brigadier General Julius J. Lawton, ‘69.

Also, Brigadier General Amos M. Gailliard, ‘51 (U.S. Army National Guard) began his distinguished military career at the SC State Army ROTC Program, and two other SC State graduates who achieved the rank of General Officer in the United States Marine Corps: Major General Arnold Fields, ’68, and Brigadier General Clifford L. Stanley, ’69.

The Bulldog Battalion, averages approximately 100 cadets, and continues to be recognized as one of the largest producers of minority officers for the Army.