TUSKEGEE, Ala. (January 30, 2013) – During a small, yet solemn ceremony, Tuskegee University’s Army ROTC Golden Tiger Battalion installed a new cadet commander in Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Museum Wednesday. Michael Benton, a senior aerospace engineering major from Detroit, passed on the battalion flag and his command on to Darryl Lenard Lassic, Jr., a senior majoring in supply chain management and hospitality management from Montgomery, Ala.
|Left to right: Master Sgt. Freddie Green, senior military instructor; Michael Benton, outgoing battalion commander; Darryl Lenard Lassic, Jr., new battalion commander; and Lt. Col. Robbie J. Cross, Army ROTC commander.
Army ROTC commander, Lt. Col. Robbie J. Cross, said the program periodically rotates command so the students can have leadership opportunities before entering service in the United States Army.
“Anytime there’s a passing of colors, it’s a changing of the guard. But, the unit and history remain,” Cross said.
‘Tiger pride is within you’
During his time in ROTC, Benton became a member of the Ranger Challenge team 2012-2013 and 2012 Color Guard team. His awards include the Superior Cadet Decoration Award and Cadet of the Month Award. He was also inducted into the Reserve Officers Association of the United States.
As the battalion stood at parade rest in the museum, Benton gave them one last word of advice during his remarks.
“Give [Lassic] the same respect you gave to me and he’ll look out for you,” Benton said.
Lassic’s accomplishments include being selected to serve as the battalion’s logistics officer, graduating from the Leadership Development Assessment Course as well as being a member of the Color Guard, Honor Roll, and receiving the Sergeant York Award.
During the ceremony, Lassic expressed gratitude to his family and the many mentors who helped him in his development.
“Today is not about me, but about the future of the Golden Tiger Battalion,” Lassic said. “We have a saying: ‘Tiger pride is within you.’ Being an officer, you have to reach down deep within yourself to be able to lead. But, I also feel it’s important to remember what you learned from your peers and parents.”
Battalion at parade rest.