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Santa Clara University Bronco Battalion Wins Prestigious MacArthur Award
Monday, Feb. 6, 2012
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2012 – Santa Clara University’s ROTC “Bronco Battalion” again has won the annual MacArthur Award, granted to the most-excellent university-based officer training programs in each of eight brigades nationwide. The battalion also won the distinguished award in 2009-2010.
Named after late General Douglas MacArthur and issued by the U.S. Army’s Cadet Command and the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, the MacArthur Award is granted to the year’s top Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs in eight brigades across the U.S. In winning for the West Coast 8th Brigade, SCU topped 33 other battalions on factors like cadet retention rate, success in commissioning officers after ROTC, and the cadets’ physical fitness, navigation skills, and leadership.
SCU’s battalion also includes cadets from San Jose State University and Stanford University.
SCU Military Science Department Director Lt. Col. John Tao said highlights of the year included:
• Several battalion cadets won highly competitive overseas cultural internships sponsored by the Army Cultural Language Program (CULP), to travel to places like Spain and England. This summer the battalion is sending cadets to Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Paraguay.
• SCU placed second in the 8th Brigade Ranger Challenge competition. Ranger Challenge is the varsity sport for ROTC programs, and tests the cadets’ mental and physical toughness against teams from across the brigade. This is the best showing by the battalion in five years.
• Seventeen graduating seniors from the four universities that comprise the Bronco Battalion became commissioned officers in the U.S. Army, Army Reserves, or National Guard, with 10 honored as Distinguished Military Graduates. All 17 received their first choice of military branch.
• During the critical Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), held every year at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Bronco Battalion cadets scored above the brigade average in three critical categories: physical fitness, land navigation and percent of the brigade receiving “RECONDO” cadet status, identified as being above-standard in multiple categories with no failures in any rated event.
Cadet Command and the MacArthur Foundation have given the awards annually since 1989.
Notable Bronco ROTC alumni include U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta; Rita Tamayo, the first female ROTC cadet commander in the nation in 1976; Lt. General Joseph Peterson, the former deputy commanding general of the United States Army Forces Command; and Maj. General David Baldwin, Adjutant General of California.
“This is a testament to the teamwork between our cadre and cadets, and to our hard work recruiting cadets who are top notch in terms of academic excellence, leadership, and desire to become officers in the U.S. Army,” said Tao. “Our cadets are willing to listen, work hard and be the best that they can be.”
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