by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern
When students decide they want to attend Minnesota State, Mankato there are many things a student could be looking to get involved with. Some may be looking to challenge themselves, develop critical thinking skills, and leadership development.
There is a program that can do all of that and more called Army ROTC.
Army ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is a college program where Cadets learn and develop their leadership and management skills and after graduation become a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army.
Officers are the leaders and managers of the Army. The skills learned in the program prepare students for becoming a Platoon Leader (being directly in charge of about 40 people), the first step in a commissioned officer’s Army career.
Minnesota State University Army ROTC offers merit-based scholarships that can pay up to the full cost of tuition.
Students who currently serve in the Minnesota Army National Guard can attend Army ROTC through the SMP (Simultaneous Membership Program) program which allows Cadets to train with the Army ROTC program and be a member of a National Guard unit. SMP members are also eligible for tuition assistance.
All graduates are not required to go on Active Duty. Army ROTC commissions officers into all three of the Army’s components; Active Duty, National Guard, and Army Reserves.
Students currently enrolled in the program come from all walks of life and have a variety of interests, and work part-time or full-time jobs while attending college as a full-time student.
There are many different majors represented in the program including Business Management, Law Enforcement, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Mass Media, and more. Army ROTC’s course load can work into any student’s schedule.
A typical weekly schedule includes the following: on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 AM have PT (Physical Training) where cadets learn Army fitness fundamentals and conduct training aimed for success on the Army PT Test which consists of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit-ups, and a 2-mile run.
Once a week, Cadets will meet with their professor and classmates for classroom instruction ranging from 1-3 hours. On Thursdays from 4:00-6:00 PM Cadets conduct their Leadership Lab where Cadets get hands-on experience in exercising leadership as well as developing their skills in Land Navigation and Small Unit Tactics.
There are some summer commitments involved with ROTC. There is the Basic Camp which offers Cadets with no prior military experience participate in a 31-day training event that introduces Cadets to drill and ceremony, customs and courtesies, and small unit tactics.
An Advance Camp, completed after a Cadet’s MSIII’s (Junior) year, is a 37-day training event where Cadets are assessed on day and night land navigation, rifle marksmanship, as well as small unit tactics. Both training events are in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Cadets also have the opportunity to participate in other activities over the summer including CULP (Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency) missions and internships.
Regarding his CULP experience Cadet David Miltimore said, “Last summer I spent a month in Honduras through the CULP program. While I was there, I spent a week training, learning, and living at the Honduran Military Academy. During the other weeks I visited the Honduran Army Ranger and Airborne school, spent time at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa and U.S. airbase, and touring the beautiful country.”
Cadet Scott Mitzel who interned with the Army Medical Department said, “Last summer I had an AMEEDD internship in Landstuhl Germany. It consisted of working with Public Health Command-Germany, which primarily deals with preventative medicine. My days consisted of shadowing the various civilian and military personnel and experiencing the various aspects of their different jobs. I went on two different missions to local Army and Air Force bases to take samples as well. Overall it was a great experience and I learned a lot from it.”
What are the characteristics Minnesota State Army ROTC looks for in prospective students?
“We look for people with a propensity to serve and have a sense of duty to the country,” said Randy Herman, the Recruiting Operations Officer of Minnesota State University Army ROTC. “Cadet Command has a model of who they look for called SAL (Scholar-Athlete-Leader). Some Cadets come in who are more academically inclined or physically fit but as long as they have a desire to serve the other characteristics can be developed.”
At Minnesota State Mankato, the Maverick Battalion Army ROTC program is a part of the Military Science department which is a part of the College of Education. The program includes students from the University as well as Gustavus Adolphus College, and Bethany Lutheran College.
There a variety of ways to get more information on the Maverick Battalion Army ROTC program. The office is located in the Wiecking Center. You can also visit the Maverick Battalion website, or contact Randy Herman, LTC USA Ret., Recruiting Operations Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.