JSU professor of Military Science promoted to lieutenant colonel in U.S. Army with twin sister

Sonny Long
Victoria Advocate


Sisters climb Army ranks together

Identical twins Vanessa Hicks-Callaway (left) and Jennifer Hicks-McGowan, professor of Military Science at JSU, were promoted together Thursday in San Antonio to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army.

When Jennifer Hicks-McGowan, JSU professor of Military Science , and Vanessa Hicks-Callaway were little, their mother used to dress the identical twins alike, but in different colors so people could tell them apart.

Today, the 44-year-olds proudly wear the same colors, those of the U.S. Army with lieutenant colonel insignia on their shoulders. The sisters were promoted to their new rank together in a ceremony Thursday at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. This wasn’t the first time the pair was promoted at the same time – they also received their promotions to captain and to major together.

“To be promoted at the same time, together, is a tremendous blessing for both of us,” said Hicks-Callaway. “It is an indicator that we have not failed those who have played a part in our success along the way. Their efforts, their prayers, their advice, their mentorship has not been in vain.”

Her sister expounded on their relationship.

“We are confidants of each other,” Hicks-McGowan said. “I don’t make a decision, professional or personal, without bouncing it off Vanessa first.We are constantly reminding and encouraging and pushing each other to make it to that next level together. The teamwork has paid off.”

The sisters grew up in Victoria, Texas and graduated from Victoria High School in 1985.

“It is a great feeling to have an identical twin. You have this feeling that someone understands you and relates to you,” said Hicks-Callaway. “At the same time, there is a balance. We tried to establish our own identity, our own selves. There are two sides to the coin.”

Hicks-McGowan gave credit to their mother, Viola Hicks, for helping them remain individuals.

“We’d dressed alike, but in different colors, so parents and teachers would not get confused. From the beginning, she tried to help us establish our own identify through that process,” she said.

In high school, they were members of the Victoriadores dance team, the first blacks to make the senior squad in 1985, said Hicks-McGowan……………

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5 thoughts on “JSU professor of Military Science promoted to lieutenant colonel in U.S. Army with twin sister

  1. I am truly glad to glance at this weblog posts which contains plenty of useful data, thanks for providing such statistics.

  2. I know these 2 wonderful ladies, they are my cousins. I am so proud of you, I can’t begin to express my love and admiration for you two, you are both wonderful.

    Anthony Hill

  3. CONGRATULATIONS LTC Hicks-McGowan and LTC Hicks-Calloway! What a wonderful accomplishment and so very deserving! Thank you for your service and for all that you do for our students and Soldiers! My very best to both of you! COL Martha McRavin-Oliver

  4. Lieutenant Colonel Hicks-Mcgowan
    Lieutenant Colonel Hicks-Callaway

    Thank you both for your dedication in helping our world to be and become a better place. Congratulations on your promotions.

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