Rose-Hulman Army ROTC named nation's best among all military branches

Jan. 25—Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Army ROTC unit has been named the nation's top performing collegiate program among all military branches, according to a college news release.

The institute's Wabash Battalion ROTC unit has earned the Department of Defense ROTC and Partner Institution Excellence Award in recognition of being the top performing collegiate program for the 2021-22 school year.

It is being honored among all ROTC Army, Navy and Air Force units at 496 universities and colleges across the country.

The Wabash Battalion also covers operations at Indiana State University, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, DePauw University, Vincennes University, University of Southern Indiana, and University of Evansville.

The battalion became the Army's representative for national honors after earning the 2022 MacArthur Award as the top program in the military branch.

"We are honored to partner with the outstanding professionals at Rose-Hulman to develop the next generation of military leaders," said Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III in announcing the award.

He pointed out Rose-Hulman's ROTC unit stood out among the nation's best college programs for overall performance, educational institutional support and other noteworthy achievements by cadets during the 2021-22 school year.

The award was presented Wednesday during a special campus ceremony on campus at White Chapel.

Making the presentation was Colonel Edwin L. Chilton, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command's 7th Brigade, based at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Retired Major General James K. Gilman, a 1974 Rose-Hulman graduate and former Wabash Battalion ROTC cadet who had a distinguished 35-year military career,.

Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons accepted the award on behalf of Rose-Hulman, its board of trustees, faculty and staff members, and Wabash Battalion leaders and current cadets.

"Rose-Hulman has a proud history of supporting the Army ROTC's Wabash Battalion, becoming an active unit in 1917. Its current and past staff members and cadets have served the institute, Terre Haute community, and our nation proudly," Coons said. The Department of Defense recognized the Wabash Battalion's achievements for readiness training and commissioning lieutenants for military service during the 2020-21 school year in the following areas:

* Outperforming 37 peer schools by commissioning 35 officers.

* Cadets exceeded the U.S. Army Cadet Command's average in every performance metric during the 2021 Cadet Summer Training exercises.

* Six cadets ranked in the top 20% nationally and earned distinguished military graduate honors, 54% of battalion cadets earned top evaluation "outstanding excellence" reports, and 33% of cadets qualified for the distinguished Recondo Badge.

* Cadets maintained a cumulative 3.19 grade point average for the 2021-22 school year.

* Organized a commissioning ceremony, military ball, Bold Warrior Challenge, and other recreational activities to build rapport among cadets throughout

each school year.

* The battalion supports a Junior ROTC program at Terre Haute South High School, has cadets placing 10,000 American flags along an annual community memorial path at ISU's Memorial Stadium, and collaborates with local Marine Corps recruiters to present clothes and toys for an annual holiday charity drive.

Rose-Hulman has one of the nation's original Army ROTC programs.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or at Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue