From Savannah to the Navy


From Savannah to the Navy

Why settle when you can rise? Up the ranks, that is. Cierra Swiney ’18 has. She earned the top spot in the Savannah State NROTC: Midshipman Commanding Officer. How? Guts. And a leadership mindset that moved her to join the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in the first place.

“I really wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be in a job where I could lead, inspire, and be an example to others.” Now, in her position as MCO, she’s the head of her midshipman company, in charge of overseeing operations and boosting morale. In other words: This political science major is one seriously impressive military member, but certainly not the only one to come out of SSU.

“At SSU, there’s a mentality that we can’t settle – that there is always something more for us out there.” – Cierra Swiney ’18

For nearly 50 years, Savannah State’s NROTC has commissioned more than 235 officers into the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Students come from around the country, and from all kinds of majors, to take part in hard-core naval training. They’re taking courses on drills, ship systems, and amphibious warfare. Meeting (and exceeding) physical tests like three-mile runs and 50-meter swims. And when they graduate, jumping into careers as nurses, pilots, officers, and even trainees of the Navy’s nuclear propulsion program.

Or in Cierra’s case, a future career as a lawyer and JAG officer. But until then, she’s headed out on the high seas, getting hands-on training with experiences like her summer First Class Cruise, where she helped run a ship as a Surface Warfare Officer. She’s more than ready to tackle any challenge. After all, her personal philosophy? Take risks. Stand your ground. And always reach for something more – like the top of the ranks. Seriously Impressive

SSU NROTC alumnus Captain (Retired) Donnie L. Cochran was the first African-American commander of the Blue Angels.

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