William Landrum, a sophomore criminal justice major, has been working hard to earn his stripes in USM’s U.S. Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) Program. Landrum recently had the honor of being named the State Guard’s Soldier of the Year.
According to the university website, Landrum competed with other students Feb. 24 through Feb. 28. Throughout the competition, Landrum bested the other competitors in activities that displayed mental and physical capabilities.
The competition included activities such as a six-mile march, land navigation written test, written essay, call for fire, warrior tasks, stress shoot, first aid, soldiers creed and a board meeting as well as other extremely difficult tests. According to the website www.goarmy.com, the ROTC program at Southern Miss is among the best programs in the country, and it is therefore a great training program for those going into the army.
Winning this title has enabled Landrum to move on to the regional competition. This level will take place at Camp Blanding in Florida and will feature similar activities that Landrum participated in during his competition at Southern Miss.
According to the Southern Miss ROTC website, students at the university who choose to become a part of the ROTC program will not only gain leadership skills, but also financial aid in the form of scholarships and stipends.
Also, the program provides jobs for every student after he or she graduates. Upon receiving their degree, students will be commissioned as an army officer either on active duty or Mississippi National Guard.