Unveiling of commemorative brick
MTSU alumna and wife Jill Powell, left, and Brig. Gen. Robert S. Powell Jr. watch as Keith M. Huber, senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, and MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee unveil a photograph of the commemorative brick that was placed at the MTSU Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building Monday, April 12. Powell is the 17th MTSU alumnus to become a general officer. The deputy commanding general of the 335th Signal Command in East Point, Georgia, is a 1991 graduate from the university and its ROTC program. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

U.S. Army Reserve Brig. Gen. Robert S. Powell Jr. was honored by his alma mater as the 17th graduate of Middle Tennessee State University’s Army ROTC in its 71-year history to reach General officer rank.

Powell was recognized with the unveiling of a commemorative brick in a special ceremony at the Veterans Memorial site outside the Tom H. Jackson Building. The outdoor event and others throughout the day followed COVID-19 safety protocols of wearing masks and social distancing.

Powell, a 1991 MTSU graduate with a degree in political science/international relations, is the deputy commanding general of the 335th Signal Command in East Point, Georgia, and the Army Reserve’s first cyber officer promoted to brigadier general.

Keith M. Huber, MTSU’s senior adviser for veterans and leadership initiatives, led the program, which also featured MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, Lt. Col. Carrick McCarthy of the ROTC program and retired Col. Rickey Smith, president of the MTSU military science alumni chapter.

Huber, a retired lieutenant general who served almost four decades active duty in the U.S. Army, offered some words of advice from his 14 years spent at the rank of a general officer and the weighty responsibility that comes with it.

“You clearly are no longer capable of being invisible … but you’re at a level now where people cannot ignore you,” Huber said. “Where if you use your energy to serve others, and your influence to change things for the betterment of the sons and daughters of America who are wearing the cloth of the armed forces … if you dedicate yourself to that service, then being a General Officer is great.”

“This is very humbling,” Powell, a Bedford County (Wartrace), Tennessee, native said, speaking to a group that included wife Jill, who has communication disorders and special education degrees from MTSU and other family, friends, other MTSU officials, fellow generals David Ogg and Max Haston, ROTC cadets and others. “I never dreamed all these things would happen to me.

“When opportunities present themselves and you are going to be asked to do it, you just did it and moved on. You do it to further the mission and take care of people.”

“As the 17th alumnus of this great university to achieve the rank of general, he joins a distinguished list of heroes whom we are proud to call our own,” McPhee told the crowd gathered for the livestreamed event. “General Powell’s strong leadership exemplifies the high standards and ideals of MTSU’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program and its long history on our campus.”

While on campus, he talked about his cybersecurity career with MTSU computer and data science students in the McWherter Learning Resources Center — an event moderated by data science director Charlie Apigian. He also toured the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center.

A replay of the ceremony can be viewed on the MTSU Facebook page.

 


Soltea
Improve Your Heart Health with All-Natural Soltea Daily Supplement – Click Now to Save 25% Off Your First Order
All-Natural Heart Health Supplement – Save 25% Now
CodeMonkey
Coding for kids! Introducing programming games for the next generation. Get your kids coding today.
Start with a free trial.
Grow Credit
Grow Credit is a free Mastercard you can use to pay your subscriptions while you build credit.
Start building your credit today!
Gabi
The easiest way to compare and save on home and auto insurance. Match coverage, compare rates and save.
Find hundreds in savings now!
Brigit
Know your spending habits, anticipate overdrafts, and get up to $250. Only takes 2 minutes. No credit check.
Get your finances on track.
Acorns
Acorns helps you grow your money. Take control with all-in-one investment, retirement, checking and more.
Get a $5 bonus when you sign up.
Tally
Overcome your credit card debt with Tally. Consolidate and save money while you pay it down.
Get started with Tally today.
Truebill
Lower your bills and stay on top of your financial life with Truebil, the app that helps you save every day.
Take control & start saving money!