One cadet’s journey to becoming an Army officer

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A series of unplanned events and the need to fill a gap in his high school schedule led one TCU student to follow a military career.

Senior psychology major Chris Lamoureux is no stranger to military life. His maternal and paternal grandfathers and father were in the service.

“He grew up in military communities and understands what life is like in an Army family,” Laura Lamoureux, his mother, said. “He has experienced the camaraderie and strong connections that develop within the military community.”

Col. John Lamoureux, Chris’ father, is the Army chief of staff of the Regional Health Command at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Col. Lamoureux said Chris first joined Junior ROTC (JROTC) to fill in a gap in his high school schedule.

Through the JROTC program Chris found a group of people who shared his goals and ultimately led him to his journey in the military, Col. Lamoureux said

While in JROTC, Chris was selected for programs allowing him to visit military academies, including the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Chris was accepted to West Point and planned to attend, but a tour of TCU would change that plan.

“I guess you can say it was everything I wanted in a school,” he said. “Plus it’s a beautiful campus and the people here are so friendly.”

Chris said he chose TCU over West Point because he wanted to have the college student lifestyle and still participate in ROTC.

“It’s one of the better decisions I made in life,” he said.

By his first year at TCU, he was awarded a four-year scholarship and had a signed contract with ROTC.

Sgt. 1st Class Theodis Johnson, ROTC military science instructor, has worked with Chris since his first year.

“Chris has grown as a person and leader since starting ROTC,” Johnson said. “His experiences in different leadership positions in the program have increased his ability to handle different situations and to work with people to produce successful outcomes.”

As a first-year cadet Chris Lamoureux was part of a squad. Sophomore year he acquired more responsibilities as a team leader, and junior year he was named 1st Sgt. and squad leader. Currently, he serves as the Cadet Battalion Commander of the University of North Texas, Baylor University and TCU.

Chris said when he first visited the TCU Army ROTC office, he saw his friend’s name as Battalion Commander on a board.

“I remember thinking, ‘I hope that’s me someday,’” he said. “Five years later, here I am.”

Chris said that currently he and his staff are working on the training schedule for cadets next semester. He also directly interacts with the commanders at all three schools on a weekly basis.

Col. Lamoureux said Chris is great at building cohesive teams.

“He is a natural leader and team builder,” Col. Lamoureux said. “He now has had the opportunity to experience what it really means to lead by example, never asking folks to do anything he was not prepared to do himself.”

In addition to his role as Battalion Commander, Chris is a full-time student who is involved with campus life. He said he has been part of Soul Steppers and NAACP. He is also involved with Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology, and the Student Veterans Alliance.

Cadet Operations Sgt. Maj. Mikayla Hamilton said getting involved is part of Chris’ spontaneous nature.

“He’s so involved in campus life it’s crazy,” Hamilton said. “Chris is a spontaneous friend. If you don’t know someone who will be willing to go do or try something new with, he’s probably your guy.”

Chris can lighten the mood in ROTC, which is sometimes needed, and he’s a compassionate, yet firm, leader, Hamilton said

“I think he’s pretty capable of analyzing how people tick and that will go a long way in furthering his career,” she said.

Concerning his career, Chris recently received his branch assignment and will commission as an active duty 2 Lt. in the Ordnance Corps, which supplies ammunition to all the branches.

“TCU Army ROTC was fortunate to have him as a part of our program,” Johnson said. “He will be successful as a leader because of his outstanding work ethics and a desire to see others succeed. The Army and the Ordinance Corps will be receiving a great leader with much to offer.”

Chris said he won’t forget the impact TCU had on him.

“I feel like coming to TCU has made me part of the family,” he said. “I will never forget the friends I have made and the lessons I’ve learned.”

Chris will commission May 6, 2016, and attend Basic Officer Leader Course training at Fort Lee, Virginia.

“I’ve had my mind set on active duty military since I was a boy,” he said. “It has been a long road, but I have successfully come to the end.  It is time to start the next leg of my journey.”