Graduating ASU Army ROTC cadet continues family legacy


May 2, 2018

Family helped pave the way for Arizona State University Army ROTC Cadet Daina Nicole Cing, who will carry on her family’s tradition of serving in the military when she commissions as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

The family’s history of service started with her grandfather, who served in World War II. Now Cing will be the third generation to serve in the military. daina king Daina Cing. Download Full Image

“I would say that my grandfather’s World War II service is what set that family tradition of passing down that torch of service,” said Cing.

Cing’s uncle served in the Marine Corps and her mother originally enlisted in the Air Force and then transitioned to the Army where she eventually commissioned as an Army officer.

Although family legacy played a large part in Cing’s decision to join the Army ROTC program, she knew from a young age that she wanted to be of service to others. When Cing was a kid she hated seeing other people be bullied or taken advantage of and would stick up for others whenever she had the chance to. 

“I’ve always wanted to help others and now that I’m an adult I realize that it comes in different forms,” said Cing. “I definitely want to give something back to my country. My grandfather was fortunate to become an American citizen and I definitely have a good life. Part of that comes from the benefits of my family’s military background, which has helped provide me with a good education and the experiences of moving to places all over the world, so I see it as a privilege to be able to give back to my country and my family.”

This May, Cing, a Talofofo, Guam native, will receive her bachelor’s degree in political science and commission as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Q: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

A: The moment I realized biochemistry was not my forte. I was a biochemistry major for three years and it was because I originally wanted to be a doctor and attend medical school. Didn’t happen. I have a great appreciation for the sciences but it seemed like political science was a better fit for me because I’ve always been interested in how different political systems impact each other as well as the relationship between governments and the people.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that changed your perspective?

A: Humility. I’d like to think that I’m not an arrogant person because I believe that everyone has a lot to learn every day from others. I think coming to ASU and meeting so many different people from different backgrounds keeps me on my toes and teaches me that I always have something to learn from everybody. It’s humbling to just sit and listen to peoples experiences.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I actually transferred from Colorado State University to ASU. My parents were moving from Colorado to Arizona. I literally had a week to decide if I wanted to follow them. It was all last minute but it worked out. I decided to follow them in order to save some money while I finished school. I also wanted a change of scenery and I guess being a military dependent growing up kind of got me used to moving every three years.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those managing school and Army ROTC?

A: Know your syllabus and have a planner that works for you. I have professors and mentors that all tell me to read ahead in the syllabus. What I do is find all of the assignment due dates and write them down in my planner so that I always know when something is due. It saves you from a lot of stress. Having a support system is also very important. I have to say that my family, fiancé and faith are my great support system. They hold me accountable and help me destress.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life? And why?

A: Technically it’s not on campus, but it’s right off campus. It’s called Cupz Coffee Shop. The staff is so friendly, they let me just order my coffee and sit there and study all day.

Q: What are your plans after graduation? 

A: Shortly after graduation I’m getting married and after that I’m headed to the Army’s Basic Officer Leadership Course. During the summer I’d like to get acquainted with master’s degree programs that I can pursue online. I’m looking into cultural anthropology or archaeology which isn’t quite political science but I think that’s where my interest is.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: There’s a lot I would want to tackle but if I had to pick one the $40 million would go to the environment. I’m from an island in the Pacific, so just knowing that those areas can really be affected by the rising temperatures and rising waters. Just the thought of the environment getting so bad that I might not have a home to come back to is something that really concerns me. The environment is something we all share and whether the money went toward research or coming up with more sustainable solutions I think it would be well spent. 

Written by Christopher Farrington, ASU Department of Military Science 

ASU Army ROTC graduate ranked No. 1 cadet in Arizona


May 2, 2018

For Army ROTC cadet Tyrus Griffin, hard work and dedication have always been second nature because of his competitive drive, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when he found out he was ranked as the No. 1 cadet in all of Arizona.  

“I never do anything halfway,” said Griffin. “If I choose to do something I always have the mentality that I can be the best at it.” tyrus griffin Download Full Image

Cadets are ranked on the national Order of Merit List (OML) by GPA, Army physical fitness test scores, extracurricular activities and overall leadership ability in the ROTC program. According to those metrics, Griffin ranked No. 1 among cadets in Arizona and in the top 10 percent of cadets nationwide.

Griffin credits his achievement to the mentorship of Arizona State University’s Army ROTC military instructors in helping to shape and mold him into the leader he’s become.

“The investment that other people put into me really motivated me to excel,” said Griffin. “I think people saw the potential in me and invested time and mentorship into me, which is something that I’ve tried to pay forward in my time here.”

As a 4.0 student and leader in the Army ROTC program, Griffin pays that mentorship forward by taking time out of his schedule to help train new cadets, which he believes is paramount to future success as an officer in the Army.

“I view ROTC as a step to being a leader in charge of soldiers, so the mentality I had throughout the program wasn’t about being the best cadet but to be the best leader of soldiers,” said Griffin.

This May, Griffin, a Hawaii Kai, Hawaii native, will receive his bachelor’s degree in geography and commission as an infantry officer for the U.S. Army.

He answered a few questions about his time at ASU and what he has in mind for his future.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

Answer: I came into college as a photography major. I applied for the four-year national ROTC scholarship and the degree I wanted to pursue was not recognized by the Army so I chose photography because I was interested in it. When I got to ASU the Army ROTC program was offering scholarships for STEM majors so I thought switching to STEM would be the best way to get my foot in the door and make me more competitive down the line. So I chose geography and got the four-year scholarship. It ended up being super-interesting after I took a geomorphology class. At that moment I decided this would be a fun major.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that changed your perspective?

A: The biggest thing I took away from ASU and being a cadet here is developing others. The Army’s leadership model is "leads, develops, achieves" and I kind of took that develop one to heart. When I was an underclassman a lot of the seniors and cadre took time out of their schedule to mold me into the person I am today. I’m really appreciative. When I’m given the opportunity, I try to imprint my success philosophy, work ethic and knowledge on the new cadets. It’s something I plan on taking with me throughout my career and life.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: When you live on the same corner of an island, you kind of want to go and branch out elsewhere. I wanted to go to a bigger university for new experiences. My friend suggested ASU because that’s where his parents went so we decided to go to ASU together. Once I looked into the Army ROTC program and liked what I saw, I thought the school would be a good fit for me.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those managing school and Army ROTC?

A: Don’t be afraid to take full days to work on your homework. Making sure you’re caught up on homework is the most important thing. I put a big focus on GPA and spent the rest of my time focusing on ROTC. The people who succeed at managing school and ROTC are the ones that want to be here, want to lead soldiers and have the motivation and tenacious mindset to succeed. 

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life? And why?

A: I put a significant amount of time, effort and brainpower in at the Memorial Union Starbucks. I spent the first three years of college getting all of my studying done there. I would get out of class and sit in that Starbucks for six hours and knock out all my math homework, which probably took everyone else 45 minutes, but I don’t really do math well.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I’m going to the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course at Fort Benning. After that I plan on finishing Army Ranger School and then going to my first duty station. While I’m in the Army I would like to get selected for Special Forces.

Q: Do you plan on making the Army a long-term career option?

A: Getting selected for Special Forces is the deciding factor for staying in long term. I don’t know how my opinion will change going forward, but right now I’m excited about my options in the Army.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: Climate change. I’m a big surfer so I really care about the ocean and those kinds of environments. I think coral bleaching is a big problem so I’d like to see some long-term solutions to prevent that. I’d like to see more renewable energy sources as well, so I’d like to donate a lot of that money to the U.N. to help them reach their sustainability development goals.

Written by Christopher Farrington, ASU Department of Military Science