Cadet Battalion Commander Commits to US Army

Posted on May 11, 2023

Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Darius Johnson is a Business major from Hiram, Georgia. He began his college career at a different university but found himself looking for more. His friend, Eric Jones, was pursuing his degree at FVSU and encouraged Johnson to enroll. Johnson was soon connected with FVSU ROTC and joined the program.

When asked how he feels about graduation, Johnson said, “I’m excited and nervous about graduating, but I feel like FVSU and ROTC have prepared me for what’s ahead.”

Since becoming a Wildcat, Johnson has displayed his leadership abilities in all facets. Johnson has been the vice president of the Society for Advancement of Management and the president of the National Society of Pershing Rifles, a military fraternity.

Johnson was recognized as the George C. Marshall Award winner for Fort Valley State Wildcat Battalion, an award given to the top cadet at each institution. He was judged on academic performance, leadership ability, and potential growth. After winning the award, Johnson was able to represent FVSU at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and join the best and brightest cadets from across the nation. There, he participated in weeklong leadership conferences and met some of the most senior Generals in the Army, an honor rarely given to a cadet.

Cadet Darius Johnson was selected as the Cadet Battalion Commander, making him the cadets’ peer leader at Fort Valley State University and Albany State University. This designation came after a 34-day camp at Joint Base Louise-McChord, near Tacoma, Washington. During camp, Johnson interviewed with Senior Army Leadership, and it was decided he would be the best fit for the position.

“During the year, he did a tremendous job leading fellow students, working with instructors to plan events, and personally improving students. Darius has matured and developed to the point that he has become a role model of leadership and presence and is fully ready to take additional responsibility as a Second Lieutenant on Active Duty,” says Lieutenant Colonel Kauffeld, ROTC, and Military Science instructor.

In addition to receiving his diploma, Johnson will participate in the pinning ceremony held during commencement. Fittingly, he will be pinned by Second Lieutenant Eric Jones. Upon graduation, Johnson will assist in training cadets at Fort Knox this summer, and in the fall, he will begin the Basic Officer Leadership Course. From there, Johnson will serve his nation in the Armor Branch of the Army.

Johnson aspires to become a General in the US Army. He plans to continue to use his Business Administration degree and open a security firm as a second career.

When asked if there was any advice he’d like to give to fellow students, Johnson replied, “Discipline is a long journey and can’t be learned at one time. Everyone’s path is different, but make sure you are always following yours.’

Cadet Johnson would like to thank his parents, the Wildcat Battalion, Second Lieutenant Eric Jones, and Mike Shaw, for their encouragement and support.

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