Cadet Command Celebrate 25 Years
McDonald, Mark, Army
On June 3, 2011, Cadet Command is commemorating 25 years of service to the nation by hosting a silver anniversary ceremony at our new home at Fort Knox, Ky. The day's events will include the opening of our new headquarters - Shoemaker Hall - and a reception as well as the dedication of a newly constructed Cadet Park on historic Brooks Field, directly across from Shoemaker Hall.
As part of the festivities, we invited all Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTO graduates and their families to join us. The purpose is to honor those ROTC graduates who died in service to our country and to celebrate the accomplishments of this outstanding command over the last 25 years.
June 3 is also significant because it marks the 95th year since Congress established the ROTC. On May 2, 1986, Cadet Command was established at Fort Monroe, Va. It began its move from Fort Monroe to Fort Knox last October, and we uncased the colors at Fort Knox on November 23, 2010.
Over the last 25 years, Cadet Command has achieved several milestones. Army ROTC is the largest officerproducing organization with the American military, having commissioned more than half-a-million second lieutenants since its inception.
Currently, there are more than 36,000 Army ROTC cadets enrolled in 273 host units, and 1,088 partnership colleges and universities nationwide, as well as in Guam and Puerto Rico. This is the next great generation of America's finest leaders. They are the best-led, the besttrained, and the best-equipped corps of men and women who will use their professional training in management, discipline and leadership as a solid foundation for a successful military or civilian career.
The challenges of today's global environment require our junior leaders to be ready to deploy upon graduation and to lead our soldiers on the battlefield. The feedback we receive from senior leaders indicates that the lieutenants we're producing are fully capable of meeting these intense challenges.
Cadet Command provides policy, direction, curriculum development, instructor training and scholarship administration for our future leaders. Since the command's establishment, cadet training - such as the Leaders Training Course, Leadership Development and Assessment Course, Ranger Challenge and field training exercises - has assumed a new intensity and rigor. In addition, emphasis on life skills was integrated into the Army ROTC military science core curriculum of tactical training, individual military skills and squad tactics.
In recent years, cultural awareness has been an additional learning objective within the curriculum, including studies of the regional geography of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Such training helps develop quality, wellrounded officers who can think critically and tactically and work alongside international counterparts in foreign relations.
In 2010, Cadet Command officially launched its Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency program, which had a pilot inception in 2006. Since then, scores of Army ROTC cadets and cadre spent part of their summers around the globe performing various humanitarian missions and have trained alongside their host country's military in Asia, South America and Europe. Many of their remarkable experiences are shared on www.ArmyStrongStories.com.
The history of ROTC dates back to 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act. Military instruction on civilian college began in 1819, when CPT Alden Partridge estabcampuses lished the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy, now known as Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. CPT Partridge, a former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., believed that the defense of the nation was better left to well-educated "citizen-soldiers" than to a "regular" army of professional officers.
After World War II, the United States needed to provide robust and ready warfighters for its rapid military expansion. …