What a summer it was for the Purple Eagle Battalion.
Students enrolled in Niagara University’s Army ROTC program performed very well during the 2013 Leadership Development and Assessment Course, and also participated in a number of internships and training programs to prepare them for leadership roles, both on- and off-campus.
Leadership Development and Assessment Course
The LDAC, or “Warrior Forge,” is a 29-day capstone training and assessment exercise required of all cadets aspiring to be Army lieutenants. The course incorporates a wide range of subjects designed to develop and evaluate leadership ability, such as land navigation, water confidence, basic rifle marksmanship and situational tactical exercises.
At the program’s conclusion, an Order of Merit List is developed to rate the performance of cadets as excellent, satisfactory, or needs improvement. The OML is used to determine selection for active duty as well as the specific branches cadets will commission into as second lieutenants.
Nine of the 14 participating Niagara University cadets – Caleb Chin, Erica Crane, Ethan Froelich, Hilary Marshall, William Olszewski, Ryan Sheehan, A.J. Spacher, Charles Streb and Mitchel Willie – earned excellent ratings, an extremely high ratio for a college program. Meanwhile, Burdick, Froelich and Streb attained Recondo badges, signifying they demonstrated mastery of cadet skills in land navigation, physical fitness, confidence course, and first aid. The trio, plus Crane, all finished in the top three of their respective platoons. Chin completed the program ranked second in his regiment of more than 500 ROTC cadets from across the United States.
“Bottom line, this was a very strong performance that is a credit to last year’s seniors as well as the desire of our current cadets to carry on the Niagara University Army ROTC’s reputation of excellence,” stated Lt. Col. Paul Dansereau, professor of military science.
Culture and Language Program
Elsewhere, NU students Christian Henderson, Jared Persons and Timothy Reed were taking part in the Culture and Language Program, a six-week exercise that requires cadets to become immersed in foreign cultures, learning more about how others around the world view the U.S. Henderson spent time in Korea, Persons in Lithuania and Reed in Togo. The students performed tasks ranging from teaching English to performing community service to training with foreign militaries.
Cadet Troop Leader Training
The Cadet Troop Leader Training (CTLT) provides cadets the opportunity to experience leadership in active duty Army units over a three to four week period. CTLT sent NU students to four different locations in the United States as well as overseas. Burdick (Korea), Froelich (Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.), Willie (Fort Bragg, N.C.) and Edmond Moloney (Fort Lewis, Wash.) served in platoon leader positions to gain a greater understanding of the responsibilities required of a leader in the Armed Forces.
Army/Department of Defense Internships
Crane was selected for a highly competitive, four-week internship at the INSCOM Communication Facility in Fort Belvoir, Va., where top secret clearance is required. The U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) conducts intelligence, security and information operations for military commanders and national decision makers. Crane worked in the career field of Military Intelligence and Communications during the program, for which Captain Shawn Yonkin, ’04, serves as a mentor.
U.S. Army Airborne and Air Assault Schools
NU cadets Matthew Cobb and Andrew Kurtzhaltz obtained airborne badges by successfully completing training in Fort Benning, Ga., while Kyle Martin and Jared Persons were certified in air assault after receiving training in Fort Drum, N.Y.
For more information on Niagara University’s ROTC program, please visit http://purple.niagara.edu/rotc. To learn more about services that NU offers for veterans, please go to www.niagara.edu/veterans.