ELLERBE – If someone were to spend a little time around Richmond Senior High School senior Kyle Goodwin, it wouldn’t take long to realize he’s a leader amongst his peers — whether it’s on the football or soccer fields, the golf course or in the classroom.
With leadership coming so naturally to him, it only made sense for Goodwin to serve not only others around him, but his country as well.
Goodwin, a three-sport athlete, decided late last month that he will continue his leadership development skills and further his education at The Citadel – The Military College of South Carolina. Better yet for the Richmond JROTC member, he will attend the university located in Charleston, S.C., on a fully-paid tuition scholarship.
A journey that began in June, Goodwin found out on Oct. 26 that he had been awarded the National ROTC Army Scholarship, a four-year scholarship that will pay for his entire tuition. Per the scholarship board, he was given the choice of attending The Citadel, East Carolina University or Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont.
“I chose The Citadel because the name carries so much weight on its own,” Goodwin explained. “It also has good connections with the FBI and CIA, and there’s a huge network for jobs after graduating.
“It’s nice to know I can relax now that I know where I’m going to college,” he continued. “The campus is great and the classes are small. I was able to sit in on some classes a couple of weeks ago and I got to see how much like a family it is there, which is big because you go through everything together.”
Goodwin has passed each step of the process to earn the scholarship, beginning with passing a physical training test issued by the Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board this summer. He was also interviewed by a professor of Military Science at Campbell University on Oct. 10, and the National ROTC Army Scholarship board met between Oct. 15-19 to determine this year’s recipients.
No stranger to the ways of what his future holds, Goodwin has been a member of Richmond’s JROTC program since his freshman year. He currently holds the rank of Cadet Major, and has taken a JROTC course one semester of each school year.
Goodwin is one of Richmond’s leading officers, and works closely with program directors Lieutenant Colonel Jon Ring, First Sergeant Aaron Light and Sergeant First Class Victoria James in planning operations for the group.
“One of the things that JROTC has helped me the most is speaking in front of people,” Goodwin said. “I’ve been able to be confident in what I say. In ninth grade, I couldn’t talk in front of 10 people, but by now, I’m able to lead my peers.
“Being in JROTC has also taught me basic Army information like what PT is going to be like,” he continued. “I’ve learned how to march, and Sgt. Light used to be a drill sergeant, so I’ve gotten used to the yelling and what I’ll have to do at The Citadel.”
Goodwin noted that Richmond’s JROTC “does a lot more than just the color guard at football games,” and he helps in the planning of operations for drill team competitions, and has helped with community service campaigns with Cascades Worldwide.
When he’s not a defender on the Raider soccer team, the punter on the Raider football team, or hitting the links with the Raider golf team in the spring, Goodwin also serves as Richmond’s National Beta Club president. A member of the Beta Club since his freshman year, Goodwin was also elected as the North Carolina National Beta Club’s vice president at the organization’s convention in February.
Currently, he’s enrolled in the JROTC cluster at the high school and has taken Richmond Community College, Advanced Placement and Honors courses over the past couple of years. Goodwin’s overall 4.48 GPA also places him in the top 30 of the graduating class of 2019.
According to its website, The Citadel was founded in 1842 and is made up of roughly 2,300 undergraduate students and 23 undergraduate majors. The school is nationally known for its Corps of Cadets, and welcomes students from 45 states and 12 countries to its approximately 300-acre campus.
Home to the Bulldogs, The Citadel has been recognized the past eight years as the “top public college in the South” by the U.S. New & World Report.
Goodwin will report as a private in the Army next fall, and the terms of his scholarship require that he do eight years of service following graduation. The first four years will be served as active duty, with the remaining four being his choice of active duty or in the reserves. Upon graduation, he will earn the rank of Second Lieutenant.
In the classroom, Goodwin has applied to study political science, but is also considering pursuing military intelligence and making his military occupational specialty the infantry.
“I went on an overnight visit on Nov. 1 and 2, and got to stay with a ‘knob’ and see what it’s like,” Goodwin shared. “A knob is the name for a first-year student and they have to wear the number four on their shirt where their rank would be.
“I got a lot more information than I expected,” he concluded. “I got to sit in on two classes and toured campus. I’m really excited to go to school there.”