Gateway ROTC Battalion honored by Department of Defense

ROTC award
Maj. Gen. John Evans (left), commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, presents Chancellor Andrew D. Martin with the inaugural Department of Defense Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) and Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award during a ceremony March 15 in Brookings Quadrangle. (Photo: Joe Angeles/Washington University)

The Gateway Army ROTC Battalion at Washington University in St. Louis received the inaugural Department of Defense Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award on March 15.

Maj. Gen. John Evans, commander of U.S. Army Cadet Command, presented the award, which was officially granted in 2020. However, the ceremony was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At a small ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle, Evans praised the stellar performance of the battalion’s 110 cadets, who represent nine local universities. In 2019, the battalion produced two top 10% ROTC cadets and eight distinguished military graduates, mentored junior ROTC cadets and helped the Army reach its diversity goals through its own recruiting outreach.

Evans also recognized the university’s support, which includes training, staff and free room and board for cadets with a ROTC scholarship. That funding, coupled with ROTC’s tuition benefit, makes Washington University one of the most attractive elite universities for future officers. Three university schools — Arts & Sciences, the McKelvey School of Engineering and Olin Business School — also bestow academic credit for some ROTC classes.

Maj. Gen. John Evans (right) greets cadet Patrick Grindel, a junior at Washington University, at the Gateway Battalion’s offices on North Campus. The battalion boasts 110 cadets from nine local universities. (Photo: Joe Angeles/Washington University)

“Suffice it to say, you have a formula for success here and our nation’s defense is the benefactor,” Evans said. “This program sets a tremendous example for others to follow.”

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin accepted the award and vowed to continue the university’s efforts to support the Gateway Battalion and its cadets.

“The Gateway Army ROTC Battalion’s existence adds immense value to our community, and I believe our entire community is enriched by the thriving program’s presence,” Martin said. “To that end, I’m grateful the ROTC program has been an essential part of the university’s progress as an institution and that the partnership between the two has helped promote and foster a culture of service here at Washington University.”

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