Karl Jackson Jr., a 2014 graduate of Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), took his commissioning oath as second lieutenant during a ceremony on May 9 after seven years of service in the military.
A second lieutenant is an entry-level officer position for the U.S. Army in charge of a platoon of 16 to 44 soldiers.
"While the journey was rough, I never lost sight of this level of success in my military career," said Jackson. "I've wanted this for a while so I'm happy my time has finally come."
The Chicago native entered MVSU in 2011 after transferring from the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. His military accomplishments include National Defense Service Medal Recipient, Army Service Medal Recipient and Outstanding Cadet Award. He has earned his parachutist badge, which is awarded to an individual who has satisfactorily completed the prescribed proficiency tests while assigned or attached to an airborne unit or the Airborne Department of the Infantry School; or participated in at least one combat parachute jump.
Jackson earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. While at MVSU, he received honor scholar awards. Currently, he is awaiting his orders to report to the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC) in Fort Lee, Virginia.
He plans to remain active in the military until he attains the ranking of Lieutenant Colonel. After 25 years of service, he plans to retire.
Jackson is the son of Karl Jackson Sr. and Sabrena Johnson. He has one brother, Korey, and four sisters- Erica, Karla, Dominque and Deanna.