Graduating ROTC cadet makes history as NSU’s first female to commission as Armor branch officer

Northwestern State University ROTC Cadet Meya Morse was commissioned Friday, Aug. 5 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and is NSU’s first female cadet to be selected to serve on active duty in the Army’s Armor branch. Morse is a native of Morgan City and completed a bachelor’s degree at the close of NSU’s summer session in computer information systems with a concentration in web development and a minor in military science.

“Finding out that I would branch as an Armor officer was a surprise yet satisfaction to my eyes,” Morse said. “Not only will I be active duty in the armed forces, but I will be a part of a combat arms — the battlefield — branch. My role as an Armor officer is to lead in different operations and lead in combat operations pertaining to tanks and cavalry reconnaissance.”

“Meya has made history here in the Demon Battalion by being our first female cadet to commission as an Armor officer. Let that sink in a minute, our first female cadet in history to commission as an Armor officer,” said LTC Joshua R. Blake, professor of military science. “We are fortunate to witness this historic event as she is the first in what will be a long line of courageous women who take advantage of the new opportunities to serve.”

Infantry and Armor branches of the military were closed to women until 2016 when all military occupations and positions were opened to women who qualify and meet specific standards.

“As an Infantry officer, I can tell you firsthand that the Armor and Infantry branches are at the tip of the spear,” Drake said. “These branches are the hammer that close with and destroy our nation’s adversaries with decisive action and firepower. If you haven’t seen an M1 Abrams shoot its 120mm main gun, it’s an amazing demonstration of the Army’s strength.”

Morse is also the first female from her hometown to commission into a combat branch. Although unsure where she will be stationed, she will first head to Fort Benning, Georgia, for Basic Officer Leaders Course.

Morse graduated from Morgan City High School in 2016. While in high school, she was involved in many organizations, including National Beta Club and JROTC where she was the Battalion Commander of Morgan City High School.

“Before Battalion Commander, I went to JROTC Cadet Leadership Training Course, which is a week of leadership training. There, I was the top cadet in the entire camp out of over 600 cadets. Being Battalion Commander I did over 30 service events, and I led over 40 cadets in the Battalion,” Morse said.

In high school, Morse was also in the gifted program for acting, singing and drawing and was part of Morgan City’s women’s basketball and track teams. As a basketball player, she was named All-State for four years and was team captain. In track, she went to Regionals in 2015 for the 300 hurdles. She was also MC for school pep rallies and Homecoming Queen in 2015.

Arriving at NSU in 2016, Morse was president of Juice Athletics, part of Lifted Voices choir and dance and joined African America Caucus participating in Wild n Out for three years. She also did community service and intramural sports and was named All Star and MVP for flag football and basketball. Her name is on several flags hanging in the WRAC representing five championships in intramural sports. She is an Honor Roll student.

“I joined the Northwestern State Demon Battalion in 2019 because I wanted to further my military outlook. From there, I held various positions such as S-1, president of the Black Knights, president of the Cadet Funds and executive officer. I volunteered at the nursing home, animal shelter, summer program for kids back in Morgan City and service events. I also attended Operation Agile Leader to commission as an officer in the Army,” she said.

Morse currently serves in the Army Reserves and has been serving in the military for four years as a specialist. Her MOS was an 88M (Transportation Specialist) for the 441st Transportation Company in New Orleans.

Pictured: Meya Morse of Morgan City, right, made history at Northwestern State University as being the first female ROTC cadet to commission in the Armor branch of the U.S. Army, an opportunity that was closed to women until 2016. Morse earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems with a concentration in web development and a minor in military science. LTC Joshua Drake, left, administered the oath of office as Morse was commissioned as a second lieutenant during an Aug. 6 ceremony.


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