Morris College ROTC cadet commissioned as Army 2nd lieutenant

May 03, 2021

Reprinted with permission from the Sumter Item by Kareem Wilson

Thursday was a special day for Derrell Watson.

Watson was commissioned in a ceremony inside the Neal-Jones Auditorium of Morris College from a cadet to second lieutenant in the United States Army on Thursday.

Watson is the 55th cadet to be commissioned from Morris College and said it was a long journey to get to this day.

Watson enlisted in the U.S. Army active duty in 2009 and 10 years later decided to join ROTC to become a commissioned officer. He was selected for a two-year program to acquire his bachelor's degree from Morris College and then be commissioned.

"Here I am two years later about to be suited and booted again and ready to rock," he said. "I believe in a good support system and keeping my faith in God and keeping my faith in myself, and my opportunities are unlimited."

This support system includes his family, friends and other service members who attended the ceremony and watched as Watson took the oath of office, which was read by Lt. Col. Louis Frketic, professor of military science at the University of South Carolina, and was pinned by Sharon Watson, his wife. She said she was proud to see her husband receive this achievement. She is fully confident he can handle the new challenges that lie ahead of him in the Army.

"He won't go in anything, any mission or assignment, without being fully prepared, and I know he's got it under control," Watson said. "I got his back."

Watson also plans to further his education by pursuing a Master's Degree in Cybersecurity Management at St. Leo University in Florida and will serve in the Army as a signal officer, and he will be responsible for the Army's entire system of communication. He will attend Basic Officer Training Course at Fort Gordon in Georgia.