Photo Information

Second Lieutenant Olaolu Ogunyemi wears the iconic “Dress Blue’s” for the first time as he prepares to begin his career as the Marine Corps’ most recently commissioned officer. Ogunyemi, who is the first Marine officer commissioned from Grambling State University in more than three decades, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems Dec. 14, 2012. He joins a distinguished heritage of African-American officers started by Frederick C. Branch, the Corps’ first Black officer.

Photo by Sgt. Scott Schmidt

First Marine officer in three decades commissioned from Grambling State University

14 Dec 2012 | 6th Marine Corps District Public Affairs 6th Marine Corps District

GRAMBLING, La. – The Marine Corps and Grambling State University witnessed history in the making, as one of Grambling’s own, Olaolu Ogunyemi, graduated and commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps at Grambling State, Dec. 14, 2012.

Ogunyemi, who was born and raised in Ruston, La., became the first Marine Corps officer to commission from Grambling State University in more than three decades, by way of the Platoon Leaders Course.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be one of the first Marine officers to be commissioned here at Grambling State University,” said Ogunyemi. “Being a leader of Marines is truly an honor.”

In attendance for this momentous occasion was Maj. Gen. Ronald Bailey, commanding general of 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., who rendered the oath of office to Ogunyemi after he received his college diploma on stage.
“Second Lieutenant Ogunyemi is an exceptional young man, and exactly the caliber of Marine we are looking for,” said Bailey. “He possess the keen-intellect, physical endurance, spirit and leadership that we expect of our leaders of Marines.”

Ogunyemi, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from the college of business, and a graduate of Simsboro High school, was accompanied by his parents, both prominent Grambling State University faculty members, Arnita Ogunyemi, director of institutional research and development, and Olatunde Ogunyemi, acting department head of educational leadership.
Taking part in his commissioning ceremony, both his parents proudly pinned his 2nd Lt. bars on the shoulders of his dress blue jacket.

“We are extremely proud of Olaolu’s achievements. My chest swells with pride knowing that my son made his dreams come true, and became a U.S Marine Corps officer,” said Mr. Ogunyemi.
At first Mr. and Mrs. Ogunyemi were a bit frightful of the news that their son was joining the Marines.
“My greatest fear was knowing that as a Marine, my son would be the first to go into harm’s way, as the Marine Corps’ motto has always been ‘first to fight’,” said Mrs. Ogunyemi.
However, after conducting her own research and talking to a few Marines herself, her fears soon subsided.
“I did my research on MarineOfficer.Com and talked to other Marine officers, and I soon realized that my son would receive some of the best military training in the world. I know now that my son will be well taken care of, and I am certain that he will take care of his Marines as well,” added Mrs. Ogunyemi.

Being the first in his family to join the Marine Corps, Ogunyemi is proud to be a part of an organization that has a long-standing legacy of honor and tradition.

“The Marine Corps is a highly-trained and elite fighting force in which members have a fraternal bond and look after one another on and off the battlefield,” Ogunyemi said. “Marines are the first to fight and are known for winning battles and having a very sharp appearance. This legacy is one that should be respected and recognized as one of the most memorable legacies in the world.”

After his graduation and commissioning, Ogunyemi will soon report to The Basic School in Quantico, Va., where he will learn the art and science of Marine officer military tactics and planning processes prior to his Military Occupational Specialty school.

For information on how to become a U.S. Marine Corps officer please visit MARINE OFFICER.COM at

6th Marine Corps District