By Sid Hall
Military Affairs Coordinator / ROTC Program Manager
NATCHITOCHES – In continuing its tradition of honoring those who serve in the nation’s Armed Forces, Northwestern State University named First Sergeant Raymond McDowell the honorary captain of the Oct. 22 Homecoming football game.
For over 25 years, First Sergeant McDowell has served the Army and Army Reserve as an Infantry Squad Leader, Drill Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant and Senior Drill Sergeant. Currently, he is the senior non-commissioned officer for B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 354th Regiment, 95th Training Division, in Bossier City, and the Recruiting Operations Officer for NSU’s ROTC program.
An Infantryman himself, First Sergeant McDowell proudly recalls the highlight of his career of serving as a Senior Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning, Georgia, training over 1,500 future Infantrymen bound for Operation Enduring Freedom. He has served at Fort Hood, Texas; Korea; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington; Fort Knox, Kentucky; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and and Fort Benning, Georgia.
First Sergeant McDowell’s military education includes the Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Non-Commissioned Officer Course, Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Course and the Master Leader Course. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (4th Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal (5th Award), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the NCO Professional Development Ribbon (4th Award). He has earned the Expert Infantryman Badge, Air Assault Badge and the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Master of Science in Homeland Security from Northwestern State.
First Sergeant McDowell hails from Rayne. Joining him to cheer on the Demons were his wife, Qwontice, assistant professor of finance for NSU’s College of Business and Technology, and their daughter, Millan. The McDowell family was escorted by Dr. Marcus Jones, President of Northwestern State University, and Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Smalley, U.S. Army Retired, Chief of Staff of the Northwestern Demon Regiment.
To nominate a Veteran for recognition at an upcoming NSU event, please contact Sid Hall, NSU ROTC Program Manager/Military Affairs Coordinator, at email@example.com or 318-357-6951.