FLORENCE – Two graduates of Francis Marion University’s were honored as newly commissioned officers in the U.S. Army during a ceremony on Dec. 16 at 9 a.m.
Cadets Trenton M. Gravely of Sumter and Adam Wilson Jr. of Sullivan, N.Y. took the oath at a gathering of former teachers, professors, family, friends and university officials, including FMU President Fred Carter, who is a retired U.S. Marine Corps. colonel. The two will graduate with bachelors’ degrees from the university on Saturday. Gravely and Wilson, now second lieutenants, majored in management and history, respectively.
FMU began an on-campus Army ROTC program in 1983, which lasted until 1998.The program was closed during the period the U.S. Army was downsizing in the 1990s. FMU commissioned more than 100 officers during its history, and the quality of second lieutenants from the program was consistently high.
The program resurfaced in April 2002 when the university, under the leadership of Carter, entered a partnership agreement with the University of South Carolina and Morris College in Sumter to provide ROTC instruction and training for qualified FMU students on the USC campus.
That instruction continues with USC as the host site and the FMU campus as the place where a comprehensive curriculum of leadership and military courses and first hand experience is offered to those who enroll. Army ROTC is a two-year program for veterans and members of the Army Reserve and National Guard or four years for students with no prior military experience. It incorporates classroom and practical training in leadership, organization, planning, decision making and military skills. Two, three and four-year scholarships are available for qualified students.