Academic journal article Military Review

US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History

Academic journal article Military Review

US Army Cadet Command: The Ten Year History

Article excerpt

US ARMY CADET COMMAND: The Ten Year History by Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford. 358 pages. Office of the Command Historian, US Army Cadet Command, Fort Monroe, VA. 1996. $10.00.

The US Army Cadet Command, formed in April 1986, assumed responsibility for over 300 Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) units, four regional headquarters and the Junior ROTC program in over 800 high schools. The new command also inherited many problems officer production was not meeting Army requirements, on-campus and summer training was suspect and key Army staff elements opposed the command's formation.

US Army Cadet Command describes the command's progress during the following decade. The most important development was the reforms Major General Robert E. Wagner, Cadet Command's first commander, instituted. Wagner tightened training requirements, intensified recruiting and infused the new command with enthusiasm and purpose. His successors continued his efforts, resulting in a substantial improvement in this vital officer commissioning program.

Without dimming the Wagner era's luster, Arthur T. Coumbe and Lee S. Harford also show how budget and strength limitations since Operation Desert Storm have limited-perhaps reversed-further ROTC improvements. Unit and summer camp staffing is at the lowest level in years, and funds for scholarships and recruiting activities have been reduced. One pre-Cadet Command initiative-adding hundreds of "extension centers" to regular ROTC units-has spread a smaller ROTC cadre across an unwieldy number of host schools, many of which produce few officers. …

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