The United States Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) unit at The University of Texas-Pan American was recently recognized among the top performers of the Cadet Commands' 273 units nationwide for the school year 2007-2008.
U.S. Army Major General Arthur M. Bartell from the Department of the Army Headquarters for the United States Army Cadet Command in Fort Monroe, Va., said the accomplishment exemplifies the hard work and dedication of UTPA's cadets and cadre staff.
"This achievement provides a superb reflection of the support The University of Texas-Pan American provides to the Army ROTC program. We appreciate this partnership for success, and we look forward to many more years of developing and commissioning young leaders for our Army and our nation," Bartell wrote in a letter to the University's administration.
"Of the 273 Army ROTC programs in the nation, only 10-15 percent achieve mission on any given year. We have made mission in 2006, 2007 and 2008. We are set to exceed our Army mission by 20 percent in 2009 and by 36 percent in 2010," Dean said.
This year the assigned mission for UTPA is eight officers and the program will commission 10 or 11.
Dean credited the program's faculty and cadets as well as significant support from the University's administration for the program's success. The University has established a central location on campus with a parade field for the program, a scholarship opportunity for free room and board for two to five cadets in each year group, and assistance in identifying donors and benefactors for the program Dean said. In 2007, the UTPA ROTC program won the General Douglas MacArthur Award as the "Best Battalion, USA," for the first time in the University's history. The ROTC program at UTPA began in 1980.
In April 2009, Major General (Retired) William F. Garrison, a UTPA alumnus best known for his leadership in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia chronicled in the film "Black Hawk Down," made a trip to Edinburg to talk to this year's cadets. On May 8, 2009, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, a South Texas native who went on to lead military units from 38 nations during the war in Iraq, will for the second time in three years commission the UTPA ROTC cadets.
"The students on our campus are becoming recognized as a powerhouse of leadership for our nation," Dean said.
For more information on the ROTC program at UTPA, contact Dean at 956/381-3600 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.