Western's Army ROTC again recognized with top cadet in state

Contact: Deanne Puca
WMU Army ROTC cadet Caleb Goodell

Caleb Goodell of Manchester is the third Western Army ROTC member named top cadet in Michigan during the past four years the honor has been awarded.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A student member of Western Michigan University's Army ROTC program once again is being honored with the title of top cadet in the state of Michigan.

Caleb M. Goodell of Manchester, Michigan, was awarded the Association of the U.S. Army's Arsenal of Democracy Chapter 2021 Officer's Saber—the third time a member of the Bronco Battalion has been selected in the past four years the award has been offered. Past honorees include Alex Gibson in 2017 and Sarah Markley in 2019. The organization did not present an award in 2020.

"WMU ROTC program has produced some of the finest officers the United States Army has ever seen. All thanks to the diligent cadre support at WMU Army ROTC, cadets always are provided the opportunity to excel in their leadership skills, fundamentals, physical strength and mental fortitude," says Goodell. "I loved the opportunity to go the extra mile as a cadet. Clubs and organizations like the Western Ranger Organization, Ranger Challenge Team and countless fitness competitions that the WMU ROTC program assists cadets in are what I was looking for as a student and cadet."

A former member of the Army National Guard, Goodell will graduate Saturday, May 1, with bachelor's degrees in criminal justice and sociology. He will commission as an infantry officer serving on active duty upon graduation, pursuing his goal of becoming a battalion commander.

He has thrived at Western, holding almost every leadership position in the ROTC program, making the dean's list for the last seven semesters and serving as vice president of Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, assisting with its support of the Kalamazoo Special Olympics. He also participated in WMU intramural soccer, volleyball, basketball and football. He is a graduate of airborne and air assault schools and earned the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.

Goodell begins his post-graduate military career in mid-June at Fort Benning, Georgia, for an infantry basic officer leadership course with his sights set on ultimately being accepted into the 75th Ranger Regiment, the U.S. Army's premier light infantry unit and special operations force, as well as reach the rank of lieutenant colonel.

"To me, the program has meant honor, respect and duty. Honor for the opportunity to follow in so many great shoes that paved a way before me to be successful. Respect for those warriors who have sacrificed so much for this opportunity. Lastly, arguably the most important, duty. The duty that I must ensure the freedom of the United States stands strong and to guide the future leaders of the United States military to success," he says, adding his gratitude to the many family members, friends, Western faculty and staff as well as others in Army ROTC who encouraged and supported him.

After the military, he hopes to use his Western education in criminal justice and sociology to pursue a career as a special victims detective.

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