Interview of Thomas Wright by Denzel Lisbon
October 29, 2016
Retired Army LTC Thomas Wright was born February 23, 1968, in Orangeburg, South Carolina. After graduating from high school, Colonel Wright did not know what he wanted to do with his life. Then one day he decided to enroll at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, and there he was introduced to Army ROTC. With no money for college, Colonel Wright decided to join the Army, jumpstarting his military career. Colonel Wright from graduated from college in 1990 and immediately went to Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Bradley Commander’s Course, and later Ranger School. In the “Rabid Dogs” unit, Colonel Wright learned valuable leadership skills that would serve him well in deployments to Asia, Europe, and the United States.
After retiring from the military, Colonel Wright became a JROTC instructor at Lee Central High School. He felt that he had something to offer the predominately Black small-town community as a retired minority officer. He wanted to teach kids and show them that they could succeed just as he did: If he could serve in the military for 20 years and retire as a Lieutenant Colonel, they, too, could have rewarding and successful military careers. In his position as a JROTC instructor, Colonel Wright has had the opportunity to see his students grow from shy young people into adults exuding confidence. Through his example and guidance, he has helped them to be the best they can be. This interview shares the story of LTC Wright: soldier, leader, and mentor.