Black Hills State University senior Tate Jackson of Parmelee will become a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry after earning his bachelor’s degree. He was active in ROTC on campus, earning a full tuition scholarship, room and board, and living stipend while he attended college.
Even more than missing a traditional graduation ceremony because of the pandemic, Black Hills State University senior Tate Jackson, of Parmelee, will miss attending the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony at Mount Rushmore. Tate will become a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry following his graduation from BHSU, traveling to Ft. Benning, Ga., for training in June.
Tate, who is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, will still attend the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony online. He will take the U.S. Uniformed Services Oath of Office and receive rank identification for his uniform. Even though the event will be held online, Tate will also still partake in a long-standing Army tradition - rendering his first salute to an enlisted service member.
Joining ROTC at BHSU not only provided Tate with financial benefits (including a tuition scholarship, room and board, and living stipend), but also leadership experience. Tate knew he wanted to become an Officer in the military, and to achieve that rank, he needed to earn a college degree.
“Even if you’re not 100 percent sure you’d like to join the Army, ROTC gives you a chance to work with others in an environment where you’re relying on other people doing their job to complete a mission. ROTC gives you experience in leadership and being a subordinate to someone else, working as a team to accomplish a goal,” says Tate.
In 2017, Tate represented BHSU in the Army All American Bowl as Cadet Marshall. He was chosen out of more than 6,000 applications because of his leadership, dedication to community service, and GPA.
Tate majored in sociology and human services at BHSU. He picked those majors because he hopes to go into law enforcement after his military career. His favorite professor at BHSU is Dr. Trenton Ellis, assistant professor of human services.
From a young age, Tate knew he wanted to join the military. He was passionate about history and enjoyed reading military memoirs.
“Ever since I was little I looked up to people who put others before themselves and made sacrifices for the betterment of the group at large, even beyond just their friends or family,” says Tate. “I always thought that was a noble trait.”
BHSU will hold a virtual graduation ceremony on Friday, May 8 at 4 p.m. on the BHSU Facebook and BHSU YouTube webpages.