Desmond Gosier poses in uniform, during a commissioning ceremony in August 2007. Then, he was promoted to cadet major in Dutchtown High School’s Air Force Junior ROTC.
HAMPTON — Desmond Gosier visits his alma mater whenever he returns home from college. In the past few years, he has seen his old schoolhouse slowly change from a familiar refuge to a place where he can be used to help advise students.
At 22, Gosier is quickly earning the credentials to do just that.
In April, Gosier was promoted from Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, to Cadet Colonel, in Tuskegee University’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Program, Detachment 015.
He explained his new position is as wing commander, the highest level of leadership in a college ROTC program. He will lead roughly 60 cadets in his unit, officially starting those duties on Aug. 22.
Gosier is entering his fourth year in the university’s ROTC unit, where he previously served as an aide to the unit’s wing commander. He also served as finance officer in the unit.
The ROTC Cadet Colonel said his goals over the next year are to complete college and be commissioned as an officer in the Air Force. It would round out nearly a decade of goal-setting and success on his part.
Gosier traced those successes back to his parents, his mentors at Dutchtown High School and in the school’s Air Force Junior ROTC Program.
“They’re the reason that I’m on track to where I’m going,” said Gosier, who plans to pay forward the support he received.
He is scheduled to return to his high school in February, to be guest speaker for the unit’s annual “Dining In” military ball.
“A lot of students really don’t set goals for themselves, and many of them don’t know how to attain those goals,” said Gosier.
“I did everything that I wanted to do in high school,” he added. “But I wasn’t too sure my senior year [of] exactly what I wanted to do in college.”
The fifth-year senior said he worked his first two years of college, with a goal to get a degree in architecture. He said the money he earned by working part-time in college helped him supplement the scholarships, grants and loans he received as a freshman and a sophomore at the university.
Gosier decided to join the university’s Air Force ROTC Program his sophomore year.
“I saw all my friends were having fun in ROTC,” Gosier said. “And I’m no stranger to hard work, and I don’t mind getting my hands dirty.”
He joined the program and, within a year, earned an ROTC scholarship. He said his tuition was paid by the U.S. Air Force, and his room and board was provided by Tuskegee University.
Retired Air Force Maj. Sarah Beavers, Dutchtown High’s senior aerospace science instructor, recalled her former student.
“One of the things I will always remember and respect about him is that he does not give up once he sets his sights on a goal,” Beavers said. “I can remember him coming to me the summer of 2008, right before he was to report to Tuskegee, telling me that his college funding fell short.”
Beavers said her former student came to her with concerns about not being able to attend the university.
“He said he was set to go, and if Tuskegee allowed him to get his foot in the door and start fall semester, he would figure out the funding shortage,” said Beavers. “He went that fall, and he’s still there. He never gave up.
“He was a very purpose-driven Dutchtown High School student and JROTC cadet, and he kept that momentum going in college,” she added. “He is a very hard-working and determined young man. He will be a great Air Force officer.”
Gosier plans to continue his military training well beyond his time in the ROTC Program.
“I’m going to serve my four years that I’m obligated to serve,” said Gosier. “[But] my intentions are to serve a minimum of 20 years. I’ll get to travel the world while serving my country. I’m somewhat of a patriot. I want to do something for my country, because it’s done so much for me.”