Army ROTC Recognizes Student Feats
Awards for academic, physical prowess given
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 14:02
On Wednesday afternoon, Boston College Army ROTC held an award ceremony for BC, Regis College, and Framingham State University ROTC students on the second floor of Stokes Hall. The event acknowledged the accomplishments, both academic and physical, of 20 ROTC students.
The Liberty Battalion Army ROTC program comprises 16 schools in the greater Boston area, including Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, and Emerson College. BC students participate in the ROTC program while attending college full-time. While many students join on scholarship, others participate in the ROTC basic course, as a non-scholarship cadet, without military obligation during their freshman and sophomore years. ROTC students train on campus in military leadership classes, physical fitness training, and leadership labs. In exchange for a paid college education and guaranteed post-college career, the ROTC students commit to serve in the military after graduation.
BC Army ROTC was instituted in July 1947, and in 1950, cadets were added to the program. Over 30 years later, in 1984, BC established a cross-enrollment agreement with Northeastern University. Since the inception of the joint program, the Liberty Battalion Army ROTC program, more than 1,700 officers have received their commissions from the BC Army ROTC program, according to the BC ROTC history site.
Lt. Col. Blaise L. Gallahue, a graduate of the Aviation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, and Battalion Commander and professor of Military Science of the Liberty Battalion, presented the awards to the ROTC students.
“Today we are gathered to celebrate our cadets’ outstanding achievements,” Cadet Capt. Spencer Heggers, A&S ’13, said to the presiding cadets and military officers.
The award ceremony began with the presentation of the Dean’s List Award. Five BC ROTC cadets were awarded for their academic achievements of a 3.5 GPA to 4.0 GPA. Following the Dean’s List presentation, nine students were awarded the Cadet’s Honor Award, for receiving a 3.2 GPA to 3.49 GPA, and after, three students were awarded the Cadet Scholar Award, for a 2.9 GPA to 3.19 GPA. A total of 10 students won the ROTC Honors Award for a perfect ROTC semester grade point average of 4.0 during the last semester.
The next awards were presented for the cadets’ physical prowess.
“The excellence [the cadets] demonstrated in physical activity is indicative of their hard work and determination to be a physically ready solider,” Heggers said. “This is a significant achievement and reflects positively on themselves, the Liberty Battalion, and the United States Army.”
Students were given awards based on their Physical Fitness Training test scores from last semester. The awards—the Platinum Medal Athlete Award for a perfect score of 300 points, the Silver Medal Athlete Award for a score of 290 to 299 points, and the Bronze Medal Athlete Award for a score of 270 to 289 points—were granted to seven students.
After the academic and athletic awards, a small group of students were recognized for their dedication to the ROTC program above and beyond what is asked of the cadets.
Three students were awarded the Color Guard award for their participation in the Color Guard, a detachment of soldiers assigned to the protection and presentation of regimental colors. One student was given the Ranger Challenge Award. This award recognizes a student’s participation in the Ranger Challenge Team, an inter-battalion competition that graded cadets on a physical fitness test, land navigation, weapons and assembly, and a commander’s written exam. The challenge takes place over two weekends at Camp Smith, NY.
Following the cadets’ award ceremony, Gallahue congratulated the ROTC students for their achievements and reminded them of award ceremony’s purpose.
“Why do we give awards in the army?” Gallahue asked. “In the army, we want to recognize soldiers that put in hard work. One day, you will all be platoon leaders and you will have to grant awards to others … It is important to not ever forget your soldiers. Just as we want to recognize you for your achievements in school and ROTC, you will need to recognize your soldiers for their hard work … So I’ll ask you again, why do we give awards in the army? To try and encourage you to do the best you can in ROTC.”