Lt. Jose Michel (Alumnus)
By University Communications
Monday, 05 21 2018
After exhibiting unyielding leadership and determination, 34-year-old Jose Michel became the first Texas A&M University-San Antonio (A&M-SA) cadet to hold the leadership position of Cadet Battalion Commander for the ROTC program. And on May 16, Michel, a first-generation college student, was commissioned at the Patriot Cord Ceremony as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
The completion of his bachelor’s degree comes more than a decade after his initial pursuit of higher education. After graduating from high school, Michel enrolled in community college, but felt he was merely going through the motions. This was when he decided to join the military and place the needs of his country before himself.
After rising through the ranks, Michel came to recognize the complementary nature of education and military service. “The more educated the soldiers are,” he noted, “the better the military experience is, and the more they can give back to their community.” So, he re-enrolled in school took one course at a time while stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado—managing his military career, a family and school.
As a radiograph technologist, Michel made frequent visits to San Antonio for medical training. And while in search of military friendly universities in the area, he found A&M-SA. He knew it was an ideal fit because of the intimacy of the campus and the unmatched support from the Office of Military Affairs. So, he transferred to the University and became a proud participant of the U.S. Army Green to Gold Active Duty program, which assists enlisted soldiers in earning a commission as an Army officer through completing a baccalaureate or two-year graduate degree.
Participating in the Patriot Cord Ceremony is a momentous occasion for Michel. He hopes his experiences inspire fellow veterans and prove that age should not be a deterrent in the pursuit of education.
Michel participated in the Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremony and received a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in fire and emergency services administration. Upon graduation, Michel reported to Fort Riley, Kansas for his first assignment as an Army officer, taking with him the invaluable experience of leading the ROTC unit and excelling as a Jaguar patriot.
“I’m so happy to graduate from this school because it’s very military inviting. It feels like home,” he says. “I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished. It feels good.”