Jasmine Hogan ’25 decided early in her life that she would continue her family’s legacy of serving in the military.
Both of her grandfathers served in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years. Her grandfather, Ernest Herman Hogan, went to Vietnam twice and earned a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Her father was also in the National Guard, and she has several uncles who have served in the Navy.
“I want to keep the legacy going with military service in my family,” she said. “I am the first grandchild to enter the service. I want to find a purpose and be a part of something bigger than myself to feel like I’m doing something good in the world.”
Hogan knew the first opportunity to start training for her future would be in an ROTC program, but her hopes of participating in a program in high school were shuttered after she learned her school didn’t offer it.
Now in her junior year at Johnson C. Smith University, the Communication Arts major and Blackwood, S.C. native has become the first student in the newly re-launched ROTC program.
The program was originally launched in the early 1900s. Most recently, the program had been offline for a decade prior to the official re-launch in 2023.
Dr. Cheryl Curtis, director of Veterans and Military Affairs at JCSU, said she has been working on re-launching the program since she first joined the University more than eight years ago.
“The ROTC program offers so many options for our students,” said Curtis. “There are a lot of entryways into the military. If a student sees the military as a part of their succession plan to the career they want, we at JCSU want to be able to offer those pathways to our students.”