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

Friday, December 1, 2006

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

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

The Fall 2006 SC State Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will be held on Friday, December 15, 2006, at 2 p.m. in the Dr. Barbara A. Vaughan Recital Hall in the Fine Arts Building on the SC State campus. Lieutenant Colonel Janet A. Simmons, ’87, will serve as the distinguished speaker.

Four cadets are scheduled to be commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army, including Jacqueline M. Evans, Field Artillery; Derrick J. Hampton, Infantry; Brandon C. Lyles, Signal Corps; and Otis I. Uwagbai, Quartermaster Corps.

For additional information on the commissioning ceremony, please contact Frederick Auston at (803) 536-7234 or

Lieutenant Colonel Janet A. Simmons is a distinguished military and magna cum laude graduate of SC State, where she received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army in 1987. She earned a master’s degree in administration from Central Michigan University in 2000.

After completion of the Military Intelligence Officer’s Basis Course, Lt. Col. Simmons was assigned to the 533rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 3rd Armored Division, in Frankfurt, Germany, where she served as a Collection and Jamming Platoon Leader; 2nd and 3rd Brigades, 3rd Armored Division, Electronic Warfare Liaison Officer; Company Executive Officer (XO); and Commander, 533rd MI Battalion (Rear). After her overseas tour, Lt. Col. Simmons attended the Military Intelligence Officer’s Advanced Course and the Imagery Intelligence Tactical Exploitation Course at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. After graduation, she was assigned to Fort Eustis, Va., as the S2, 7th Transportation Group and later as Commander, Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Transportation Center and Fort Eustis, 765th Transportation Battalion, 8th Transportation Brigade. From Fort Eustis, she was assigned to the Chicago Recruiting Battalion, United States Army Recruiting Command (USAREC), in Chicago, Ill., where she commanded the Libertyville Recruiting Company. Following command in USAREC, Lt. Col. Simmons was assigned to the Defense HUMINT Service (DHS), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), in Arlington, Va., where she served as a Reports Officer in the Latin America Division; Chief of DHS’s Situation Room; and Assistant XO to the Deputy Director of Operations. This assignment was followed by attendance at the Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Following completion of requirements at the CGSC, Lt. Col. Simmons received orders to the Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Directorate, National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort George G. Meade, Md., as the Chief, Military Exercises Branch and Deputy Chief, Exercises Division. While at Fort Meade, she transferred to the 704th Military Intelligence Brigade, Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), where she served as the XO, 741st Military Intelligence Battalion. Her successful tour at Fort Meade was followed by an assignment to the White House’s Drug Policy Office, where she served as a Senior Intelligence Officer.

She currently serves as the Commander, Headquarters Battalion, Fort Belvoir, Va., where she is responsible for commanding over 2,100 assigned and attached soldiers. Her decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC); the Meritorious Service Medal (2 OLC); the Joint Service Commendation Medal; the Army Commendation Medal; the Joint Service Achievement Medal (1 OLC); and the Army Achievement Medal. Lt. Col. Simmons is also a recipient of the Presidential Service, Parachutist and Recruiter Badges.

During her tenure at SC State, she was actively involved in the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and held membership in the Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society and the Alpha Mu Gamma National Foreign Language Honor Society. She also served as Miss South Carolina State College in 1987.

Lt. Col. Simmons is married to SC State graduate Ron Simmons, ’86, and they have one daughter, Lauren, age 14.

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, 1,991 students have received commissions in the U.S. Armed Forces (as of September 2006).

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