Post Classifieds

Major move for Kelly

By Gina Cherelus & Jasmine E. Harris
On October 28, 2012

Since elementary school, Joseph Kelly knew he wanted to be in the military. He grew up in a family deeply rooted in serving in the armed forces with a lineage leading back to World War I. His father served as a lieutenant colonel, his uncle was a full colonel and Kelly always felt that was where he belonged.

“I remember enjoying the sense of protection we had coming up as a military family,” Kelly said. “Although the military family has changed significantly since then, it is still a good place to be.”

After graduating from the ROTC program at North Carolina A&T in 1997, Kelly was commissioned into the Army as a transportation officer and went through challenges he willingly accepted.

From running convoys in Bosnia to being in combat in Afghanistan, the officer has a lot to show for his accomplishments and his love of serving his country.

“Being in combat, yes, it gets scary,” Kelly said, “and you see some amazing things and some terrible things, but that’s a real time where we get to do our job and do it to the fullest.”

FAMU’s Rattler Battalion program will be honoring the professor of military science Joseph D. Kelly in a promotion ceremony Wednesday. The Army ROTC professor will be pinned as a lieutenant colonel while family, friends, cadets and others are able to witness the occasion. Kelly said that everyone played a role in helping him make this great accomplishment.

“I don’t want anyone to feel left out of this promotion because it takes a total team effort to get to this rank,” Kelly said.

Kelly received his Bachelor of Science in transportation management at NC A&T and was commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps as a Distinguished Military Graduate in May 1997.

According to an ROTC spokesman, promotions are based on the amount of time a cadet has been in the army and how well he or she may have been doing. Kelly is being promoted from a major to a lieutenant colonel. He has been in the army for a little more than 15 years and said that he feels prepared for what lies ahead.

“This was a long and hard journey,” Kelly said. “I spent six years as an army major so I am well ready for this promotion.”

Kelly’s plan for the ROTC program at FAMU is to further enhance its skills so that the program can be recognized at a larger scale than that of being just a program at an HBCU.

“This past summer, we were the top HBCU in the nation as far as performance, but that is not where we want to compare ourselves,” Kelly said. “When you step into the Army, it is not an HBCU army. So with that being said, we want to compete against everyone in the nation.”

Kelly was said to have gone through a fast track program during his time in the Army, which has led him to excel beyond his peers. He was selected “below the zone,” which is a tremendous honor that put him a year ahead of his counterparts whom he joined the Army with in 1997. Many cadets within the Rattler Battalion have nothing but great things to say about Kelly’s achievements.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Cadet Mason Marshall, a graduating political science student. “As you get higher in the ranks, those promotions don’t come easy. It takes hard work and an exceptional effort to get promoted to lieutenant colonel.”

Kelly is very passionate about teaching his cadets about leadership and strengthening their team building skills to be applied not only in the military but also in whatever organization they wish to be part of. As a professor, he is helping mold the Army’s future leaders and is regarded as a pivotal role model.

“I think this is a great opportunity for future officers to see their professor being promoted to the next level,” said the Rattler Battalion’s Sgt. Maj. William Stanton. “I know it will mean a lot to him, and I think it will motivate the cadets to continue to do better.”

Kelly received his Bachelor of Science in transportation management at NC A&T and was commissioned through the Reserve Officers Training Corps as a Distinguished Military Graduate in May 1997.

According to an ROTC spokesman, promotions are based on the amount of time a cadet has been in the Army and how well he or she may have been doing. Kelly is being promoted from a major to a lieutenant colonel. He has been in the Army for a little more than 15 years and said that he feels prepared for what lies ahead. “This was a long and hard journey,” Kelly said. “I spent six years as an Army major so I am well ready for this promotion.”

Kelly’s plan for the ROTC program at FAMU is to further enhance its skills so that the program can be recognized at a larger scale than that of being just a program at an HBCU.

“This past summer, we were the top HBCU in the nation as far as performance, but that is not where we want to compare ourselves,” Kelly said. “When you step into the Army, it is not an HBCU army. So with that being said, we want to compete against everyone in the nation.”

Kelly was said to have gone through a fast track program during his time in the Army, which has led him to excel beyond his peers. He was selected “below the zone,” which is a tremendous honor that put him a year ahead of his counterparts whom he joined the Army with in 1997.

Many cadets within the Rattler Battalion have nothing but great things to say about Kelly’s achievements.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” said Cadet Mason Marshall, a graduating political science student. “As you get higher in the ranks, those promotions don’t come easy. It takes hard work and an exceptional effort to get promoted to lieutenant colonel.”

Kelly is very passionate about teaching his cadets about leadership and strengthening their team building skills to be applied not only in the military but also in whatever organization they wish to be part of. As a professor, he is helping mold the Army’s future leaders and is regarded as a pivotal role model.

“I think this is a great opportunity for future officers to see their professor being promoted to the next level,” said the Rattler Battalion’s Sgt. Maj. William Stanton. “I know it will mean a lot to him, and I think it will motivate the cadets to continue to do better.”

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