Mister and Miss Florida A&M University (FAMU) and the Royal Court serve as the face of the university, while the Mister and Miss of student organizations serve as their organizations representatives. However, the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at FAMU has never had a Mister to represent their program.
After only having a Miss Army ROTC for 68 years, the ROTC family wanted a change. The idea came about when the 68th Miss Army ROTC, Alyssianna Baca, questioned herself as to why ROTC is the only program that doesn’t have a Mister to accompany their Misses.
Putting in a lot of effort to make this happen, Baca’s dream became a reality. In April of 2017, the ROTC program made history by electing First Sergeant Dakota King, a theatre and performing arts student as the first Mr. Army ROTC for the 2017-2018 academic school year.
King explains that his actions will speak much louder than his title.
“I want to make it a more hospitable environment and would like to bring more cohesiveness to the ROTC family,” King said. “I believe the biggest thing with being a Black leader and being a part of the military is that I must be able to bring anyone together to reach a common goal. Bringing people together is what I Intend to bring to ROTC.”
King is a transfer student from Eastern Carolina University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After being at FAMU for just two years, King has managed to join numerous organizations in such little time. These organizations include the Transfer Student Association, Big Brother Little Brother Mentoring Program, Campus Activity Board, FAMU Connection Campus Recreation and Veteran Affairs.
Being a part of the United States Army Reserve for three years has allowed King to become a leader, visionary and handworker. These attributes are some qualities he plans to provide not only as Mr. ROTC, but throughout his daily life.
Cadet Coddrick Griffin expressed that it is exciting to see FAMU’s first Mister Army ROTC, especially since he considers King as a brother. Griffin said that even his last name shows that King is well qualified for the position.
“We’re like brothers and we’re roommates, so I witness every inch of effort and dedication that he puts into the program that most don’t get to see. He’s very experienced and has a ton of knowledge and wisdom,” Griffin explained. “I know for a fact Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s very first Mister. Army ROTC is nothing less than well-fitting for a “King”.
Since King is the first Mister Army ROTC, Alelee Figueroa, who is the 69th Miss Army ROTC, had the privilege to be the first Miss Army ROTC accompanied by a Mister.
Figueroa is a second-year criminal justice scholar who said she is ecstatic about being the first Miss Army ROTC to receive the opportunity to have a Mister Army ROTC.
“Being the first Miss Army ROTC accompanied by the first Mister Army ROTC is a breath of fresh air. We are a team, we work as a team. The workload is split, but that only means we can do more in our reign,” Figueroa said.
Figueroa is a thrower for the FAMU’s women’s track and field team, captain of the Army's intramural volleyball team, a member of the Honor Student Association, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the Caribbean Student Association. Despite her involvement in these organizations, Figueroa still managed to keep a 4.0 grade point average.
With or without the crown, the Mister and Miss Army ROTC both exemplify the characteristics of a soldier. King and Figueroa plan to work together effortlessly each day to leave a mark on FAMU’s campus and in life.
“I would like to set an example of being someone that everyone can confide in. I want people to look at me and say I want to lead like he leads. He always present selfless in his action for others,” King said. “You won’t only know I was your first Mr. Army ROTC, but see the mark I left.”