NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Katelyn Thompson’s dream is to be a military lawyer or judge advocate general. The TSU sophomore is well on her way after receiving a $18,000 scholarship from the U.S. Air Force.
On Oct. 25, Thompson, a criminal justice major, signed a contract with the Air Force and was sworn in as a cadet. As part of her contract, she received the scholarship under the Air Force’s Type 2 scholarship program, which covers tuition, fees and books. She will train with the AFROTC Detachment 790 at Tennessee State University.
Lt. Col. Sharon Presley, the Detachment Commander, conducted the swearing-in ceremony in the AFROTC wing on the main campus. She said Thompson, who is the Honor Guard commander, has been with the program since her freshman year.
“Cadet Thompson has got an incredible track record of success since coming to us as a freshman,” Presley said. “As far as academics, physical fitness and leadership among the cadets, she has proven herself to be quite capable.”
Thompson said her passion for becoming a military lawyer goes as far back as her freshman year in high school. She said she enjoys arguing and debating.
“The reason I want to be a JAG is an aspiration I have had for law since I was in high school,” said Thompson, whose family has a rich military history. “Additionally, my family is definitely military. I have a stepfather that’s in the Army; I have a grandfather that was in the Air Force. It (military) runs in the family and I want to keep that tradition going.”
Morris Brown, Thompson’s grandfather, who was a member of the AFROTC as a student at TSU, attended the swearing-in ceremony with Thompson’s grandmother Clarese Brown, sister Bria Ingram, and auntie Barbara Brown.
“Katelyn is very special and the family is here to support her dream,” Morris Brown said. “I am extremely proud that she is getting this scholarship.”
Presley said Thompson will compete for an enrollment allocation for field training this coming summer.
“If she successfully completes that training, then she will go on two more years with ROTC and be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Air Force,” Presley said.
Thompson is thankful to TSU and the Air Force for her scholarship.
“It is always my dream to strive for excellence, and if it were not for TSU, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I am very thankful,” she said.
Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association; and June Michaut, president of the TSU Veterans/Military Alumni Chapter.
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.