USC Upstate News

Four USC Upstate Students to be Commissioned at U.S. Army ROTC Ceremony

05- 01- 2009

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Southern Guards Battalion of the U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps will host the 2009 Commissioning Ceremony on Tuesday, May 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Wofford College’s Leonard Auditorium. Four USC Upstate students will receive their commissions as second lieutenants. Major General Rodney O. Anderson, director of force management for the U.S. Department of the Army, and Southern Guards Alumni class of 1979 will be the featured speaker.

Those to be commissioned are:

Kenneth C. Campbell, an information management systems major from Campobello, will be joining the Army Signal Corps. He will stay attached to his current National Guard unit, 228 Signal Brigade Mobile Command Detachment, located at the north end of the USC Upstate campus. Campbell joined the ROTC program as a sophomore after serving over eight years in the Air Force. He received his Ranger Challenge tab, multiple Excellence in Academics awards, and Mountain Warfare Winter Phase Certificate. “The ROTC program challenged me and opened up a lot of doors,” he says. “It allowed me to realize my dreams and pushed me towards accomplishing them. I look forward to continue serving my country.” Campbell is the son of Carmelita Mariano. He is married with two children.

Tyner W. Elgin, a criminal justice major from Spartanburg, will join the Infantry branch. He has served in the South Carolina Army National Guard for seven years and began the ROTC program as a freshman.  Over his four years as a cadet, he was selected for the highly competitive Airborne, Air Assault and Mountain Warfare Schools and as a senior was chosen as the Cadet Battalion Commander.  He also graduated in the top one percent of his regiment at the Leadership Development Assessment Course held at Fort Lewis, Wash. Elgin is the son of Michael Elgin and Mindy Adler and is married to the former Angela Bingner. Elgin has not yet received notification where he will be stationed.

Vanessa N. McGalliard, from Spartanburg with a degree in psychology, will enter the Medical Service Corps. She will attend the Officer Basic Course at Fort Sam Houston, Texas in October for two months, and her permanent duty station will be Fort Bragg, N.C. McGalliard entered the ROTC program as a sophomore after completing the Leaders Training Course. She has received many different awards but the most important ones to her, she says, are the Daughters of the American Revolution Award and the Major General Dozier Award. “My favorite part of being a Cadet is learning different leading styles from different people and emerging as my own, unique leader from there. I also enjoy teaching and mentoring younger cadets. It's always great to make a difference,” says McGalliard. She looks forward to working with “first class people” in the Army and hopes to lead soldiers one day, whatever size the unit may be. McGalliard is the daughter of Fernando and Maria Corrente.

Pre-med major, Jacqueline M. Roberts from Greenville, will enter the Aviation branch. Her flight school training will last between 18 and 24 months and she will find out during the training where her permanent duty station will be. Roberts entered the ROTC program as junior after completing the Leaders Training Course. As a cadet she earned numerous awards, including: highest GPA in both her class and in the battalion; the Warrior Ethos Award during summer training in Ft. Lewis, Wash.; the Marshall Award which involved a four-day conference in Lexington, Va.; the Distinguished Military Graduate for the Southern Guards Battalion; and she ranked in the top ten percent of cadets in the nation during accessions (GPA, leadership ability, physical fitness, etc).  She was also selected as the South Carolina Cadet representative for the ROTC Women’s History Conference held on Capitol Hill.  Roberts says, “I enjoyed the physical and leadership aspects of being a cadet - we were in charge of a number of events which gave me experience in mentoring and supervising large numbers of people. I am very excited to use the knowledge I learned in school in a hands-on situation. The military has several opportunities for me to excel and continue my education while keeping a rewarding and physical career.” Roberts is the daughter of Arthur and Rebecca Roberts.  

“These four students have learned tremendous leadership skills through the ROTC program that will serve them well as they pursue their careers in the Army and civilian job market,” says USC Upstate Chancellor John Stockwell. He adds that, “It was not always an easy road for them, but they met the challenge of earning their college degrees while gaining self-discipline, confidence, and now, the rank of officer. They will serve this nation well.”

For further information contact Capt. Simon Stricklen, enrollment and scholarship officer, at (864) 597-4338 or email him at More information on USC Upstate’s ROTC Program can be found on the Web at Wofford College is the host institution of the Southern Guards Battalion, which serves USC Upstate, Wofford College, Converse College and Limestone College.