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ERDC’s Williams to be inducted into ROTC Hall of Fame

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VICKSBURG, Miss.— The U.S. Army recently announced that Donna R. Williams, a computer scientist at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), would be inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Honoring graduates who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian pursuits, the ROTC Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have made significant and lasting contributions to the nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the ROTC program.

As a high-school student in the early 1980s, Williams had no real interest in a military career, but she decided to follow in her cousin’s footsteps and join the Junior ROTC at Vicksburg High School.

“I thought JROTC looked fun, and it was the drill team that really caught my interest,” said Williams. “My cousin and I were like brother and sister, and he really enjoyed it. I figured that I would like it, too.”

And she was right—she did enjoy it. So much, that when she got to college, Williams decided to sign up for the ROTC program as an elective course at Jackson State University.

ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, is an elective curriculum offered at colleges and universities across the nation. Upon graduation, senior ROTC participants who choose to enlist in the military are  commissioned as U.S. Army officers in designated branches.

“ROTC really brought out a different flavor of being in college,” Williams said of her time as a student at Jackson State. “You start learning leadership, team building, customs and courtesies. You are put in different positions, and you learn how to be proactive and execute skills inside and outside of the classroom.”

Williams admitted that though she was the very last person in her cohort to sign a contract to join the Army, she knows she made the right decision.

“Just like most high school kids, I knew I wanted to go to college. I knew I wanted to study computer science,” Williams said. “Going into the military was not really on my radar at all. But hindsight is always 20/20.”

VICKSBURG, Miss.— The U.S. Army recently announced that Donna R. Williams, a computer scientist at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), would be inducted into the U.S. Army ROTC Hall of Fame.

Honoring graduates who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian pursuits, the ROTC Hall of Fame recognizes alumni who have made significant and lasting contributions to the nation, the Army and the history and traditions of the ROTC program.

As a high-school student in the early 1980s, Williams had no real interest in a military career, but she decided to follow in her cousin’s footsteps and join the Junior ROTC at Vicksburg High School.

“I thought JROTC looked fun, and it was the drill team that really caught my interest,” said Williams. “My cousin and I were like brother and sister, and he really enjoyed it. I figured that I would like it, too.”

And she was right—she did enjoy it. So much, that when she got to college, Williams decided to sign up for the ROTC program as an elective course at Jackson State University.

ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, is an elective curriculum offered at colleges and universities across the nation. Upon graduation, senior ROTC participants who choose to enlist in the military are  commissioned as U.S. Army officers in designated branches.

“ROTC really brought out a different flavor of being in college,” Williams said of her time as a student at Jackson State. “You start learning leadership, team building, customs and courtesies. You are put in different positions, and you learn how to be proactive and execute skills inside and outside of the classroom.”

Williams admitted that though she was the very last person in her cohort to sign a contract to join the Army, she knows she made the right decision.

“Just like most high school kids, I knew I wanted to go to college. I knew I wanted to study computer science,” Williams said. “Going into the military was not really on my radar at all. But hindsight is always 20/20.”