The 2014-15 SGA President will be the first ROTC cadet to represent Grambling State University in Vilsek, Germany
New SGA President and ROTC cadet, Eric Johnson
is heading to Cadet Troop Leader Training
Program in Vilsek, Germany.
BY DEON JONES
Grambling State University Media Bureau
GRAMBLING, La. – Erik Johnson is a rising senior and an Army ROTC cadet heading to Germany for a special experience.
Of thousands of cadets across the nation, Johnson is the only cadet from Louisiana, the only cadet from Grambling State University and the only one from Louisiana heading to the Cadet Troop Leader Training program in Vilsek, Germany, which is six hours from Switzerland and four hours from Austria.
“This year is the first year Grambling State University has participated in sending its cadets overseas to be a part of the CTLT,” said Johnson during a recent interview on campus before traveling abroad recently.
Johnson, elected this spring as the 2014-2015 Grambling State University Student Government Association president, will spend three to four weeks with infantry units and serve in a lieutenant-level leadership role with active-duty units. All his expenses will be paid by the military. “I will be shadowing a lieutenant in the infantry unit. The infantry unit is the first line, fighting force of the military,” explained Johnson.
David Ponton said he’s impressed with Johnson and having a chance to go to Germany is a great opportunity.
“I talk or meet with him every day,” said Ponton, GSU’s interim associate vice president of student affairs and dean of student affairs. “He calls me constantly. Nobody’s perfect but Erik is focused, disciplined and (has) his priorities in line. Germany is a wonderful opportunity, very well deserved, a very prestigious opportunity for him to represent the only HBCU invited.”
Johnson was a part of a Culture Awareness Learning Program (CULP) last year, where he worked with the Romanian Air Force in Romania, located at the crossroads of Southeastern and Central Europe. “We taught English, interacted with soldiers and the Romanian community, fed the homeless, performed renovations on the military units (and) we performed maintenance on C130 (PUMAS) planes and jet fighters” recalled Johnson.
Johnson is scheduled to graduate with a bachelor’s in kinesiology and a minor in military science in 2015. When he does, he’ll become a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He wants to one day become an athletic director at Grambling State University.
“I love Grambling and one day I would actually like to be AD of GSU or go back to Dallas,” mentioned a confident Johnson, a native of Dallas.
Johnson, 21, will be the first SGA President at Grambling State University affiliated with the GSU ROTC Program. Johnson has a 3.5 GPA and will also be the only African American cadet to represent Grambling State University in Vilsek, Germany, this summer.
Johnson is one of more than 5,000 cadets leaving to go overseas this week (June 27). He will return August 30. Johnson ranks number three of 27 cadets in the GSU ROTC Program. Johnson is now a first lieutenant in the GSU ROTC Program. First lieutenants may serve as the platoon leader of a specialized weapons unit or as the executive officer of a company of 70 to 250 soldiers.
GSU SGA President Eric Johnson works with other GSU student in the SGA office.
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GSU Media Relations Office