NDSU’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps, or ROTC, has received notice from the Army that it will remain open.
In October, the U.S. Army Cadet Command said the NDSU Bison Battalion was among 13 programs slated for closure at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. But, according to Capt. Scott Sumbles, executive officer and assistant professor of military science, that decision has been changed.
“The 13 schools set for closure are now on probationary status,” Sumbles said, noting the program received the status notification on Nov. 7. “The Army has decided to conduct a re-evaluation of all Army ROTC programs nationwide. The biggest message we have for people is that we are open for business.”
Sumbles said, “Our focus is to produce 15 lieutenants this year, and we are on track to reach it. We will continue to produce the high quality officers to lead America’s Army into the future.”
NDSU’s ROTC program has 72 cadets enrolled through the Tri-College University, which includes NDSU, Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead.
The Bison Battalion is a highly decorated group. The last two years, more than 30 percent of NDSU’s cadets have earned the distinguished military graduate honor, which means they are in the top 20 percent of Army ROTC cadets in the nation.
In Operation Warrior Forge 2013, the U.S. Army Cadet Command Leader Development and Assessment Course for juniors, 43 percent of NDSU’s cadets achieved excellence ratings. The national average is 22 percent. NDSU’s cadets exceeded the national average in every event.
In April, NDSU’s ROTC program won the title of Best Battalion in the 2013 Ranger Buddy Competition. Thirty-nine universities from 14 states brought 183 teams to the national military competition.
Unfortunately, Sumbles said he’s had to turn down several potential cadets because of the original announcement of closure. “We had to turn away really good candidates,” he said. “It has hurt our recruiting efforts for the next class.”
He said the Bison Battalion has four-, three- and two-year scholarships available for active duty, National Guard and Army Reserve service. “Now that we’re back in business, we’re ready to expedite the process to get scholarships for cadets,” said Sumbles.
More information is available at www.ndsuarmyrotc.com or interested students may call Ron Joyce, enrollment counselor, at 701-231-7575.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.