Sioux Battalion Sandhurst Team at West Point Competition
Sitting adjacent to the Art Museum next to the railroad tracks, the ROTC building is not front and center. The building, nor the ROTC program get the recognition that many specialty area’s here at UND do. In fact, the ROTC program was not even a part of a specific college until January of 2009 when it officially became a part of the College of Business and Public Administration (COBPA). This may not seem like an obvious fit initially, but the leadership and management skills used by these officers in training are every bit as necessary as those used by the future business leaders in the college.
The fit was obvious to Dean Elbert who is a retired officer and whose son is currently serving in the armed forces. “We are proud of the achievements and recognitions that our ROTC program has been having and are pleased to have the program part of the College of Business & Public Administration, as there are strong connections within the management and leadership skills taught,” says Dean Ebert, College of Business & Public Administration. It is clear that the ROTC will find a home here in the COPBA.
It is not without accolades that the ROTC program joins the college. The army battalion here at UND received the McArthur award for the academic year 2008-2009. This award is given out by Cadet Command who is responsible for all ROTC and Officer Candidate schools, totaling 273. These schools are divided into eight regions and the McArthur award is given out by region. The upper Midwest region has 40 schools.
The criteria for the award are non-published, but basically incorporate three things. First, there is a combined score including GPA, athletic criteria and military criteria. This score is tallied after a student’s junior year. In 2009, UND posted the 2nd highest overall student in the nation. Second, there is a camp that juniors attend which is also scored. This camp includes tests of fitness, navigation and 6 leadership events. The final criteria are the number of new commissions. The army mission is 15, and in 2009, UND recruited 25.
The army ROTC here at UND is commanded by Lt Col Sickinger, a solid man with a friendly demeanor. Sickinger will be retiring from his post this summer after 23 years of service that has led him down a diverse career path. He has served as company commander, and spent a year in Afghanistan in command of the prisons, where he saw to it that better medical care was provided to the combat detainees. He will move to Virginia and run the ROTC for a military high school there.