Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., commandant of Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets, challenged Blinn College students become the great leaders this country needs during a speech on the College’s Bryan campus Thursday afternoon.
Ramirez spoke as part of Blinn’s Constitution Week programming. The Constitution was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on Sept. 17, 1787, and Constitution Week was developed to promote study and education about the document.
“This is no longer a time for us to be producing merely good citizens,” Ramirez said. “We need great citizens and we need great leaders. We've been at war for 12 years. We’re suffering through the worst economic depression our country has seen since the Great Depression, and politically we’re as divided a country as you can be. We need great citizens and great leaders, and we're expecting you to be those great leaders for the future.”
Ramirez told students that a positive attitude during times of adversity can be the distinguishing characteristic of a strong leader.
“I’m a general officer in the United States Army, one of only four Hispanic general officers in the United States Army. Let me tell you, I had more than my share of setbacks, disappointment and failure along the way,” he said. “The road to success is full of potholes, but what’s important is that you never stop moving down that road to success and you never let them stop you.”
A native of Houston, Ramirez served 31 years in the U.S. Army and commanded B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 41st Field Artillery in Bad Kissingen, Germany, the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery at Ft Stewart, Ga., the 1st Cavalry Division Artillery at Fort Hood, Texas, and was deputy division commander for the 2nd Infantry Division in the Republic of Korea. He was also deputy chief of staff for U.S. Central Command during operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
His numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and the Parachutist Badge.
Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its four campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its workforce education, technical training and vocational education programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.
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