Leading and mentoring students to overcome personal hurdles was one of the most rewarding parts of Capt. Lacey Sims Jr.’s job while at Florida A&M University’s Army ROTC.
Sims announced his retirement, effective August 31, 2015. He was recognized in a formal ceremony at Howard Hall Auditorium, May 1.
“I’m just fortunate that I had the opportunity, at the end of my career, to give back in a way by coaching, teaching and mentoring the next generation of warrior leaders,” said Sims.
Sgt. 1st Class Faith Walker, a 25-year veteran and Army ROTC recruiter, worked with Sims during recruitment at FAMU. Walker describes Sims as an outstanding officer.
“His leadership speaks volumes of what he stands for,” said Walker.
Sims has obtained a B.S. degree in Human Resource Management from Bellevue University, and an MBA from Columbia Southern University. During Sims’ 23 years of service in the United States Army, and two years as a military science leadership professor at FAMU, Sims was awarded numerous medals and citations including the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. Marry Herring, the Rattler Battalion secretary, has seen a lot of instructors come and go but respects the level of dedication given to the students.
“I have to give it to him. Capt. Sims was dedicated and really trained those cadets,” Herring said.
Sims said in his farewell speech that he will miss Rattler Battalion and hopes that he was an effective cadre.
“One regret that I have is sometimes you don’t know when it’s the end. I’ll always miss it [teaching]. I will miss the Army but I will miss the soldiers and leaders,” Sims said.
Sims served on the FAMU Athletic Department Board where he directed game day events, color guards and the annual military ball. One of Sims’ memorable moments was the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Tie Ball. The Rattler Battalion had the most participants to attend.
Jennifer Hulse a 23-year-old Rattler Battalion cadet from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., has been in the program since 2013. She acknowledges that everyone has to move on at some point in their career but is sad to see Sims go.
“It’s sad for me because he [Sims] was someone who really stood out. He was always there and a mentor. I wish him luck,” Hulse said.
Sims' final message to students thinking about the military as an option was, “Everybody can’t do this job but if you choose this [the Army] as a profession, know that it’s not only a profession, but it’s a lifestyle.”