Beloved ROTC Master Sergeant Wiggins passes away

ROTC students remember MSTG fondly and express their grief at his passing.

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Cheyanne Richardson

On March 3rd, the Curtis community was struck with grief over the passing of Master Sergeant (MSTG) Wiggins, an ROTC instructor and beloved member of the schools’ faculty. In order to shed light on what kind of person he was, we spoke to some of the students that had the pleasure of knowing him.

Over the course of MSTG Wiggins’ career at Curtis, he was known as a caring, smart, and intelligent man who had a passion for motivating students and shaping them into amazing young men and women. There was always laughter and love in his classroom, recalled some of the ROTC members.

Lieutenant Commander Kayla Jackson said that MSTG Wiggins was the type of man that always had a plan. At one point during his time at Curtis, there was a dinner held at Montford Point and the students were worried about doing a color guard. She remembered how Wiggins had given them reassurance, telling them that he truly believed in their ability. He knew how hard the students had practiced and if they stuck with the plan, they would be alright. “Master Sergeant had forced me to be Commanding Officer longer than planned because he knew I could do it,” said Kayla. “At first, I thought it was kind of unfair because the other generations of seniors got off early, but then I knew he needed me and that he believed in me.” 

Ensign Bruce Smith said that when he joined the program, Wiggins immediately held him to a higher standard than the rest of his cadets. Wiggins pushed Bruce even harder once he found out that he had come from a family with a military background. “I went from being one of the kids he yelled at every day to one of the people who held him after school with funny conversations and debates,” Bruce recollected. 

Lieutenant of the Juniors Amya White thought that her experience was different compared to the rest of her fellow ROTC classmates. She joined the program in her junior year and didn’t really know anyone. She found it hard to fit in at first, until MSGT Wiggins went out of his way to make her feel welcomed. White said that her fondest memory of Wiggins was when he showed up at her graduation from a summer leadership academy. She remembered crying and being a hysterical mess, but she will always remember how he went out of his way to show his support and encouragement. “He was like a family for many people in ROTC and my heart aches when I think about his passing. I, along with everyone else, would have liked to earn one more trophy in his name, but I know him seeing us continue to live life and grow means more.”

On his last day at Curtis, the students congregated in MSGT Wiggins’ classroom like they always did. They were all laughing, talking, and messing around with each other, just like any other day. Wiggins then began to sing “Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye,” and the students knew it was time to go. Stubbornly, they stayed for a few more minutes, not yet knowing that these would be their last moments with their beloved teacher. Master Sergeant Wiggins filled every room with laughter and his smile made everyone feel better. Curtis has lost a wonderful and amazing family member. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and the students and faculty who knew him. May his soul rest in peace.