Army ROTC will Return to Campus this Fall

 Army ROTC will Return to Campus this Fall

02/29/2012 

For the first time since 1993, the Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) will have a presence on the SUNY Cortland campus this fall.

The College Faculty Senate on Feb. 14 unanimously approved a request to allow ROTC instructors to use classroom space on campus for military science courses. For some years, SUNY Cortland ROTC students have been transported to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., for classes.

“The big objection to ROTC on campus was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” said Senator David Miller, referring to the now-ended federal policy toward gays in the military. “That’s no longer an issue, so this makes sense. I think it will be great for the College.”

Campus opposition to the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, under which gay and lesbian members of the armed forces were forced to hide their sexual orientation or face expulsion from the military, led to the disbanding of SUNY Cortland’s ROTC program.

President Barack Obama formally repealed the policy late last year.

The repeal coincides with an increasing interest in the ROTC program at SUNY Cortland, according to College President Erik Bitterbaum. That, in turn, led instructors with the Cornell University ROTC program to ask College officials for classroom space to accommodate its Cortland students in the fall.

“We have the available space,” President Bitterbaum said. “This will allow students who have this interest to stay on campus and not have to travel in a van to Ithaca.”

Currently, 12 SUNY Cortland students are part of the Excelsior Battalion housed at Cornell. The battalion of roughly 100 cadets includes students from Binghamton University, Elmira College and Ithaca College in addition to SUNY Cortland and Cornell.

“You’ve got to say SUNY Cortland’s doing a pretty good job with its numbers, especially considering there hasn’t been a major presence on campus,” said retired Maj. Kevin Swab, a senior military science instructor for the ROTC.

Successful completion of the four-year program results in a cadet being commissioned as a second lieutenant, a platoon leader in charge of 20 to 30 soldiers. Courses, however, aren’t limited to people seeking careers in the military, Swab said.

The basic course, the first two years of the ROTC experience that now will move back to the SUNY Cortland campus, does not require a commitment to join the Army unless a student is awarded an ROTC scholarship. A one-hour class and a leadership lab each week promise college credit and superior skill training, Swab said.

“It’s a way for people to be exposed to the military and understand it isn’t like what they see in the movies,” he said.

ROTC cadets sign a contract in their third year to join either the Army, the National Guard or the Army Reserve. After studying basic courses on the SUNY Cortland campus, students who opt to sign the contract will travel to Cornell for their advanced courses.

Swab spent more than two decades in the armed forces between his National Guard and Army service. He commisioned through the ROTC and now he trains future military leaders in Central New York.

“I know what ROTC did for me,” Swab said. “Even if I hadn’t gone the military route, it would have been worth it, just for the leadership skills.

 “True leadership,” Swab said. “That’s what we teach.”

For more information on the Army ROTC, visit its website.


More News

Blackbird Film Festival Returns

Blackbird Film Festival Returns

Over 140 short films to screen in festival that is free and open to the public.


'Color My College' 5k Coming April 23

'Color My College' 5k Coming April 23

Students can enjoy a colorful 5K run on Sunday that's for a good cause.


April the Giraffe Shares Cortland Connection

April the Giraffe Shares Cortland Connection

A biology major who works at Animal Adventure Park was there in person to see the world-famous baby giraffe’s first steps.


Acclaimed Pianist to Unveil New Work at Cortland

Acclaimed Pianist to Unveil New Work at Cortland

Avant-garde musician Margaret Leng Tan will perform a free concert on campus


Piscataway Nation to Perform April 26

Piscataway Nation to Perform April 26

The Piscataway Nation Singers and Dancers will dance, drum and sing with authenticity.


Students Model European Union in Big Apple

Students Model European Union in Big Apple

Twelve attended the Model European Union conference held March 30-April 2.


Holocaust Memorial Events Planned

Holocaust Memorial Events Planned

Leibel Mangel will recount serving in Israel's military on Thursday, April 20.


Science Based Club Created for Scholarship

Science Based Club Created for Scholarship

Current Research in Biology (CRIB) exposes students to novel research.


College Writing Committee Posts Winners

College Writing Committee Posts Winners

Seven students will be awarded for writing excellence during the 2016 academic year.


Senior BFA Major to Present Thesis Exhibition

Senior BFA Major to Present Thesis Exhibition

Justin Pribulick will display his work in Dowd Center April 27-May 12.


Explore

Visit

Contact