Lanier, a 23-year-old from Lakeland, attended FAMU for two years as a criminal justice major before deciding to enlist in the U.S. Army in spring 2018. He chose to leave his basic everyday life as a college student and a working citizen to make a difference for his country.
While at FAMU, Lanier focused on academics while becaming a memorable addition to Strikers Dance Troupe.
His says his experiences at FAMU help him in his everyday life as a U.S. soldier.
“Coming to FAMU has introduced me to developing new love and appreciation for my people. FAMU has also taught me not to give up when times are rough and to always look at the brighter side,” he said in a telephone interview.
Lanier, who is stationed in Fort Shafter, Hawaii, is serving as a geo-spacial engineer. He plans on returning to FAMU to earn his bachelor’s in geo-graphic information system and remote sensing after he finishes his four-year military obligation.
Lanier says that the hardest part about transitioning to such a different lifestyle is being forced to deal with people who are not like him. He said he faced the same challenges at FAMU and he learned how to adjust quickly to any and every situation.
Capt. Pusharad, the officer in charge of the geo-spacial production cell, said Lanier has an impact on his unit. “(He) has definitely brought a new insight as well as showed his peers that it is possible to hit the ground running even if you do not what where you are running to. Lanier has made great progression in my unit and I look forward to seeing more from him in years to come.”
Another hardship of transitioning from a college student to a U.S. soldier is not being able to see loved ones when he wants to. It can be difficult, he said, to make them understand that what he is doing is for a greater cause.
Lanier’s mother, Aretha Lumpkin, said she initially struggle with his decision to enlist.
“It was hard to grasp at first but i knew that he was serious and once he is serious about something there is no stopping him,” she said.. “I do look forward to his visits from time to time but no mother wants to be limited to when she can see her child even if he is serving the country.”
Lanier has had the opportunity to travel across the country for basic training and job training.
Josh Guerrero, a junior engineering major at FAMU from Fort Myers, knows Lanier as a fellow Striker. “I am beyond proud of my brother, he is doing something that very few people will. I admire his growth and how he has matured since our freshman year at FAMU.”
Lanier also takes pride in being a great vocalist. He was asked to sing the national anthem at “Family Day,” which marked the graduation of his two months of basic training.
Lanier said he is greatly indebted to the students of FAMU and the staff who have stayed in touch with him during his first year in the Army. He also takes the initiative to guide his military colleagues on maintaining the standard using love, charity, dedication and perseverance as he was taught while at FAMU.