Three-Star General, Alumnus Crawford to Address New Commissioned Officers

Monday, April 30, 2018


Lt. Gen. Bruce T. CrawfordORANGEBURG, S.C. – U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, a 1986 graduate of SC State University, will return to his alma mater on Thursday, May 10 as the keynote speaker for the spring 2018 Commissioning Ceremony. The program begins at noon in the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center and will be followed by a reception.


The SC State University ROTC Program will commission 14 new officers, 10 of which are graduating SC State seniors.


Since its establishment in 1947, the SC State University Bulldog Battalion has equipped students with the skills needed to lead on and off the battlefield. Those who train with the Bulldog Battalion are among the nation’s most regarded military officers who have blazed trails for others to follow.


The students, who will receive their commissions as officers, have made a commitment to serve our nation with integrity, courage and perseverance. The honorees are:


SC State University
Howard Benjamin Allen Jr., from Beaufort, South Carolina, will receive a degree in digital media. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Quartermaster Corps branch.


Christopher Brant Anderson, from Blythewood, South Carolina, will receive a degree in economics. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Infantry branch.


Jalen Donte Ayers, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, will receive a degree in broadcasting communications. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Infantry branch.


Carl James Burrell will receive a degree in nuclear engineering. The Early Branch, South Carolina native will be commissioned in Army Reserve duty. Burrell will serve in the Engineer Corps branch.


Trendon Deante Howard, from Anniston, Alabama, currently serves in the Army National Guard. He will be commissioned in the National Guard and will serve in the Ordnance Corps branch. Howard is earning a degree in mass communications and journalism.


Zachary Tyree Mack is a native of Saint George, South Carolina. He will be commissioned in Army Reserve duty and will serve in the Transportation Corps branch. He will receive a degree in criminal justice.


Ian Keyonni Phifer is earning a degree in mechanical engineering technology. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Engineer Corps branch. He is from Richmond Hill, Georgia.


Ebonia Ciera Smalls, from Charleston, South Carolina, is earning a degree in biology. She will be commissioned in Army Reserve duty and will serve in the Finance Corps branch.


Tyler Orinthel Dajon Thompson is a native of Anderson, South Carolina. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Air Defense Artillery branch. Thompson will earn a degree in sports communication.


Eric Tyrell Toney, from Bishopville, South Carolina, currently serves in the Army National Guard. He will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Infantry branch. Toney will receive a degree in mechanical engineering technology.


Claflin University
Deandre Jordan Jennings, from Columbia, South Carolina, is earning a degree in criminal justice. He will be commissioned in Army Reserve duty and will serve in the Military Police branch.


Latasha Camray De Asia Jones, from Charleston, South Carolina, currently serves in the Army National Guard. She will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Signal Corps branch. Jones will earn a degree in early childhood education.


Jessica Brielle Mozie is a native of Winnsboro, South Carolina. She will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Adjutant General Corps branch. Mozie will earn a degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting.


Nicholas Dashawn Williams currently serves in the Army National Guard. The Hampton, South Carolina native will be commissioned in active duty and will serve in the Signal Corps branch. He will receive a degree in computer science.


Lt. Gen. Crawford, Army chief information officer, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general, three-star general. He was sworn into his new position in August 2017, leading one of the Army’s most essential organizations by setting strategic direction and objectives for its network. He also supervises information technology operations and oversees a $10 million budget to support the Army’s warfighting operations, force structure, information security and communications equipment.


A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Crawford has held many key positions during his 31 years of service. He served as director of the Coordination Group for the Army chief of staff at the Pentagon, Washington D.C. and commanding general of the 5th Signal Command and deputy chief of staff, G-6, for U.S. Army Europe. He also held numerous leadership positions in North Carolina and Hawaii and served in multiple combat tours in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.


Crawford received his commission through SC State’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He earned a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from SC State and was named a Distinguished Military Graduate. He also earned a Master of Science in administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.


Additionally, he earned various awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Combat Action Badge and Ranger Tab. He and his wife, Dianne, have two sons, Bruce Jr. and Corey.


Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Jones Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Jones, assistant adjutant general of the Army National Guard in South Carolina, will offer remarks during the ceremony. He is responsible for monitoring the state’s defense readiness in strength, training and equipment.


Jones served in multiple tours in Iraq and received various military awards, including the Legion of Merit and NATO Medal. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina and holds master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina and the U.S. Army War College.


He and his wife, Amanda, reside in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The couple has three children, Houston, Lydia and Isobel.


For more information about the spring Commissioning Ceremony, contact retired Lt. Col. Watson at (803) 533- 3604 or awatso9@scsu.edu.