Army ROTC Unit Earns Region’s MacArthur Award, Finalist for National Honor

Tuesday, February 08, 2022
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The Army ROTC unit was honored for readiness training and commissioning lieutenants for military service, having cadets exceed several performance averages, and having key leadership roles in the Wabash Battalion.

Rose-Hulman’s Army Reserved Officers’ Training Corps unit of The Wabash Battalion has earned the 2021 MacArthur Award as the top program in the military’s 7th Brigade, a region covering 38 universities and colleges in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, and Tennessee. 

The brigade award now makes Rose-Hulman’s ROTC unit eligible for national Army ROTC honors and possibly the overall 2021 Department of Defense ROTC and Partner Institution Excellence Award among Army, Air Force and Navy units.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command recognized the unit’s achievements during the 2020-21 school year for readiness training and commissioning lieutenants for military service. Award-winning programs best represent the Army’s ideals of Duty-Honor-Country and the legacy of leadership as practiced by General Douglas MacArthur, according to Army ROTC award guidelines.

Professor of Military Science Lt. Col. Benjamin Schneller reports the following Rose-Hulman ROTC unit accomplishments for 2020-21:

* Commissioning 35 officers, far exceeding the 19-officer requirement.

* Six cadets ranked in the top 20% nationally and earned distinguished military graduate honors.

* 24 cadets exceeded performance averages in areas of physical fitness, written land navigation, practical land navigation, weapons qualification, and tactical performance evaluations during last summer’s training exercises.

* Cadets had key leadership roles in the “Bold Warrior”/Ranger Challenge team that had its best finish in the past 20 years against other senior ROTC programs in the 7th Brigade region.

* 98% retention rate of students enrolled in the program from 2020 to 2021.

“None of this would have been possible if not for the amazing support we receive from Rose-Hulman,” says Schneller. “The entire program is humbled by the institute’s generosity and commitment to helping us develop future leaders for the Army and our country. We thank everyone for their continued support.”

Joining Schneller in leading the Rose-Hulman ROTC unit are Thom Robbins, Ethan Allen, and Rick Maples, senior military science instructors; Max Dixon and Ari Merdler, assistant professors of military science; Mertz Goodwin, military science instructor; Bob Doll, recruiting operations officer; Tom Deal, human resource assistant; and Troy Batchelor and Gavin Brothers, National Guard liaisons.

The Wabash Battalion ROTC unit has 31 scholarship student cadets and five other participating students from Rose-Hulman participating in activities with 34 other contracted cadets and 20 participating students from six other colleges in southwest Indiana for the 2021-22 school year. Student leadership rotates during each of three academic quarters. This year’s senior cadets from Rose-Hulman are Griffin Altmix, Nick Barr, Landen Berlin, Samuel Dickinson, Drew Gearhart, Tristen Maesch, Alec Teichmann, Samuel VanDendurgh, and Ryleigh White. 

Rose-Hulman has one of the nation’s original Army ROTC programs. Shortly after its founding in 1874, Rose-Hulman hosted a Student Army Training Corps unit and had an active role in training engineers and mechanics for Army service during World War I. An official Army ROTC unit became active in 1917, after ROTC was authorized by the National Defense Act of 1916, and graduated its first commissioned officers in 1922. Today, Rose-Hulman is part of the Army ROTC’s Wabash Battalion with Indiana State University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, DePauw University, Vincennes University, University of Southern Indiana, and University of Evansville.