Tuskegee University Army ROTC commissions two new officers


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (December 20, 2013) — The Army ROTC has added two more officers to Tuskegee University’s ever-growing military legacy. Former cadets, Bradley Burch and Jazmine Scott, became new second lieutenants in the United States Army Reserve during a ceremony today. The Fall 2013 Commissioning Ceremony was held in the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Museum and marked the beginning of the students’ military careers. 

Burch, an environmental science major from Inglewood, Calif., will be assigned to the Chemical Corps. Burch comes from a military family and said he feels blessed to have accomplished his rank. 

“This is like a dream come true; it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Burch. “I’m the first officer in my family.”

Scott, an occupational therapy major from Hephzibah, Ga., will be assigned to the Quartermaster branch in the 141 FA Battery in New Orleans. She was relieved that her training was finished for now. 

“This is over and I’m beginning a new chapter,” Scott said. 

Col. Teresa A. Townsend gave the keynote address and shared some advice with the students about beginning this new chapter in their lives. Townsend, an alumna who serves as the ROTC battalion’s recruiting operations officer, spoke about lessons she learned while at Tuskegee. 

“As lieutenants, you’re going to need a lot of help to become successful,” Townsend said. 

She urged Burch and Scott to seek out mentors, take ownership of making decisions and to always prepare. 

“As officers, you have to be technically and tactically efficient. You also have to be morally and physically courageous,” Townsend said. “And, the way you do that is through preparation and through practice.”

Townsend also stressed that the students be mindful of their behavior on and off-duty. She said soldiers would always be judged by their leadership, integrity and character. She said inappropriate dress, behavior and friends are all factors that could affect career advancement. 

“The Army is drawing down and only the best and the brightest will be allowed to stay and wear this uniform,” Townsend said. 

© 2013 Tuskegee University

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