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Voorhees student leader selected Army ROTC cadet battalion commander

Denmark, S.C. – Joshua Gayle, president of the Voorhees College Student Government Association, is
the first Voorhees student selected to serve as a cadet battalion commander in the South Carolina State
University (SCSU) Army ROTC program in more than 20 years. The announcement was made recently
by the SCSU Army ROTC, which services Voorhees and other colleges and universities in the area.

Gayle, recently named an HBCU Scholar by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges
and Universities, takes pride and responsibility in his new role as cadet battalion commander. “To me
being the battalion commander means being there for my cadets. Being a leader is about being selfless
and taking care of your cadets/soldiers as much as it does taking charge and leading from the front,” he
“Cadet Gayle is a proven leader in scholarship, in student leadership and now in military activities
associated with the SCSU Army ROTC. We, at Voorhees College, are proud of him as he exemplifies
our efforts to produce highly qualified graduates who coalesce intellect and faith in pursuit of life-long
learning, healthy living, the betterment of society, and an abiding faith in God,” said Charlene Johnson,
vice president for student affairs and athletics director.

According to Antonio Pittman, professor of military science at SCSU, Gayle not only possesses but
exceeds the qualifications necessary to be a cadet battalion commander. He is a proven leader. He is
committed to service and he cares about his cadet colleagues.

“Cadet Gayle is by far, hands down, the most dedicated cadet in this program. He leads from the front in
everything that he does and is ‘ALWAYS’ in the right place, on time and in the right uniform. He drives
37 minutes from Voorhees College Monday, Wednesday and Friday for physical training (PT) at 0600
and usually beats most there and stays later in most cases. He is never late or misses PT, class and/or
any events that he is required to attend. Always has a smile on his face, well-mannered and well-liked
amongst his peers,” Pittman said.

Gayle will be responsible for all battalion activities including supervising and providing guidance for
battalion staff officers, company commanders and the battalion command sergeant major; building an
effective chain of command and developing a positive command climate; ensuring cadet compliance with
policies and procedures of the program; serving as a link between all cadets and the professor of military
science; advising the professor of military science on matters concerning cadets; and providing guidance
and feedback to events staff.

“Under his tutelage as the battalion commander, it is no telling how far he will catapult the program. I
look forward to working with Cadet Gayle this next school year in Army ROTC as well as helping him
become a better version of himself for himself. Overall, future Second Lieutenant Joshua Gayle will
make a great army officer; he is the best of what SCSU has to offer to the Army,” Pittman said.

“I see myself having a career in the military—a long-term career. It sounds a bit ambitious to say, but I
hope to reach the rank of general. In the short term, I hope to be a field artillery officer, and go through
all of the command and staff positions,” Gayle said.

Speaking about motivation regarding his leadership and academic success, Gayle said, “What’s
motivated me so far are the young junior cadet that had the feeling and idea to become an officer, the
instructors who saw something more in him, and his mother who told him he could do anything he set
his mind and time to.”

Voorhees College joined the SCSU Army ROTC program in 1968 through a cross enrollment
agreement. Since that time, 71 Voorhees students have been commissioned through the program—with
some of those students achieving the rank of colonel. The SCSU Army ROTC program, established in
1947, averages approximately 150 cadets annually and is recognized as one of the largest producers of
minority officers for the United States Army.
A high-resolution image of Gayle is available at
For more information, contact Pittman at or (803) 546-6870