WMU News

Military science program ranks among nation's best

Feb. 24, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University's ROTC program ranks 20th out of 271 similar programs in colleges and universities nationwide, according to new standings released by the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

"This new ranking demonstrates what we already know--that our cadets stack up very well when compared to all the others across the nation," says Lt. Col. Robert Nipp, chairperson of the WMU Department of Military Science and Leadership. The program also ranked highest among others in its brigade, which includes other programs in Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and the Chicago area.

The new designation lands WMU's unit, which is part of the Haworth College of Business, in the top 8 percent of all U.S. programs.

"We are pleased that ROTC is a part of the Haworth College, and appreciate the splendid way they represent WMU," says Dr. James Schmotter, dean of the college.

To determine rankings, the U.S. Army Cadet Command looks at the number and quality of the officers commissioned annually by participating programs. In 2003, WMU expected to commission 12 officers, but produced 17 instead. The quality of the cadets is assessed by a centralized board of officers that reviews the performance and files of every cadet---about 4,500---in the country. The board factors in each cadets' GPA, physical fitness score and leadership evaluations from the National Advanced Leadership Camp in Ft. Lewis, Wash.

WMU's Military Science Program is a leadership training curriculum through which qualified students can earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve or National Guard upon graduation. An elective academic minor, the program stresses leadership and military skills training that prepares students for officership, graduate school and corporate life. ROTC programs train 70 percent of the officers in today's Army.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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