Become A National Guard Officer Through EWU Army ROTC

EWU and the National Guard

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) commissions Army officers not only onto Active Duty, but into the Army Reserves and the National Guard. This video shows the various training events conducted in ROTC and is narrated by 2018 EWU Army ROTC graduate First Lieutenant (1LT) Rebecca Troutt who is an officer in the Washington Army National Guard.

The National Guard provides a great opportunity for EWU students to serve their state and local communities while still pursuing a civilian career. The coronavirus pandemic and the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest has demonstrated what an important role the National Guard has in supporting communities in the region.

For students considering National Guard service as an officer, contact us at or 509-359-6110 to learn more about EWU Army ROTC. We offer scholarship designed exclusively for students pursuing National Guard service. Scholarships are available! Contact us to learn more!

Go Guard! Go Eags!

Yearly Train Up Event Challenges EWU Army ROTC Cadets on Mt. Spokane

On September, 21 2020, the MS-III and IV Cadets from the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program conducted their annual train-up event at Mt. Spokane State Park. The train up is used to get the Cadets refocused on ROTC activities before that start of the school year.  You can watch a video of the train up below:

The train up began with an early morning bus ride from EWU campus to Mt. Spokane State Park located an hour away.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Cadets sat one person per seat with their masks on and windows cracked on the bus:

Cadets load on to buses at Cadet Hall to travel to Mt. Spokane State Park.

The Cadets began their hike up to the summit of Mt. Spokane at the Lower Mt. Kit Carson Trailhead.  The Cadets were divided up into three small groups, remained spread out, and wore their masks during the hike:

Cadets arrive at the trailhead to begin their training.

From the trailhead the Cadets hiked on a steep trail through a lush and beautiful forest.

During the hike the Cadets stopped at pre-designated training stations along the way to conduct Cadre facilitated classes on skills they need to become proficient on for the upcoming academic year.

Cadets stop at Saddle Junction about halfway up Mt. Spokane to conduct training.

SFC David Ratliff leads Cadre facilitated training on the slopes of Mt. Spokane.

While the Cadets conducted their training they also got to take in expansive views of Eastern Washington:

Looking down a ski slope with Day Mountain visible in the distance.

A panorama view of Mt. Kit Carson (left) and Day Mountain (right).

Once the Cadets reached the summit of the 5,883 foot Mt. Spokane, they took a break to each lunch and enjoy the views:

Summit panorama.

The Summit House on the summit of Mt. Spokane.

MS-III Cadet, Everett Kuhnel enjoys the view of Northern Idaho from the summit of Mt. Spokane.

Final picture before departing the summit of Mt. Spokane.

After departing the summit the Cadets stopped again at pre-planned spots to finish their training before returning to the trailhead.  Overall the Cadets hiked 9.5 miles with approximately 2,000 feet of elevation gain during the day.  The Cadets received great training and an even better workout. The weather was also phenomenal and was a great break from the smokey days we had recently in the region due to forest fires.

MS-IV Cadet, Michael Beier takes in the views of Eastern Washington during the hike back down Mt. Spokane.

All of us Cadre members were happy to conduct in-person training with our Cadets for the first time since winter quarter. EWU Army ROTC is approved to conduct in person training for our leadership labs, field training exercises, and physical training that all occurs outdoors. For our classes that occur normally inside a classroom, they will continue to be conducted virtually until the COVID conditions improve. We are committed to providing the best training we can in the safest manner possible to ensure our Cadets all remain Eagle Strong!

Note: You can view more pictures from the train up on our Flickr page.

EWU Army ROTC Conducts 2020 Contracting Ceremony

2020 EWU Army ROTC Contracting Ceremony

On September 24, 2020 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program contracted 6 Cadets into the U.S. Army.  The Contracting Ceremony was held in front of the historic Showalter Hall on the EWU campus.  Showalter Hall is the oldest building on EWU’s campus that was built back in 1915 when EWU was a teacher’s college.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Contracting Ceremony was attending by a small number of Cadets and family members and masks and social distancing requirements were followed.  Full video of the ceremony can be viewed below:

During the ceremony the 6 Cadets recited the Oath of Enlistment given to them by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford, the Professor of Military Science for the EWU Army ROTC program.  The first Oath of Enlistment was developed during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army.  The first Oath of Enlistment under the Constitution was approved by an Act of Congress on 29 September 1789. It applied to all commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted Soldiers in the United States military.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets, Isabell Pannell, Caleb Geringer, Nik Chapple, Charles Golding, Giovanni Beegen, and Kyle Collins stand in formation preparing to contract.

Contracting Cadets salute the unfurling of the U.S. flag.

Contracting ceremony officer in charge (OIC) Cadet Crystal Cruz turns over the formation to LTC Jonathan Stafford.

The oath would receive minor modifications during the 1800’s, but the current oath recited by the contracting Cadets has remained unchanged since 1959.  Here is the current Oath of Enlistment:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Cadets are given the Oath of Enlistment by LTC Jonathan Stafford.

LTC Jonathan Stafford contracts 6 Cadets into EWU Army ROTC.

Following the reciting of the Oath of Enlistment, the 6 Cadets were then given their right shoulder sleeve EWU Army ROTC patch. The patch was presented by Master Sergeant Michael Zehring who explained the importance of the right shoulder sleeve patch that recognizes combat service in the active U.S. Army. In the EWU ROTC program the right should sleeve patch recognizes these Cadets’ commitment to serve their country by contracting into EWU ROTC.

Cadet Charles Golding proudly displays his EWU ROTC patch after contracting.

By contracting the Cadets can now activate scholarship benefits, receive a $420 a month monetary stipend, attend advanced training, internships, and other opportunities to help them towards their goal of becoming a U.S. Army officer after graduating from EWU.  Congratulations to all six of our newly contracted Cadets!

Isabell Pannell
Caleb Geringer
Nik Chapple
Charles Golding
Giovanni Beegen
Kyle Collins

Note: More pictures from the ceremony can be viewed on our Flickr page.

How to Contract into ROTC

When Cadets first enroll into an ROTC class, they have no military obligation.  Taking an ROTC class is the one way to explore military service without having to contract into the military.  For students who find that military service is something they want to pursue they can then contract into ROTC.  Contracting requires the Cadet to meet specified academic, physical fitness, character, and medical requirements.  The are various options to contract and a college student does not have to join ROTC as a first year student to explore military service.  We have many transfer students, sophomores, and juniors and even Masters students enroll into ROTC to explore military service before making a decision to contract.  Please read our Contracting page or reach EWU ROTC through our Contact page for more information on contracting options.

EWU Army ROTC Completes Annual Jump Start Training Despite Real World Challenges

Jump Start 2020

From 15-18 September 2020, the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) battalion conducted both our Jump Start program for new Cadets and Basic Camp for Cadets looking to contract this year.  In a normal year Basic Camp Cadets are sent to Ft. Knox, Kentucky to conduct training.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Cadets to conduct this training with their local ROTC battalion.  The ongoing pandemic has caused many adjustments to training delivery and the recent forest fires that brought unhealthy smoke levels to the Spokane region caused further challenges.  The smoke caused a number of training events that were planned to be conducted outside to be shifted to virtual instruction.

Smoke obscures the sunrise over Roos Field on the EWU campus.

Despite the smoke the Cadets were able to move into the dorms, complete inprocessing into ROTC, and be issued their gear.  On Friday the smoke levels improved to where the Cadets conducted Drill and Ceremony and Land Navigation training outdoors.  They conducted all this training in a modified environment due to COVID-19 with all Cadets wearing masks and maintaining social distancing standards.

Cadet Geringer holds the Fighting Eagles Battalion guide-on during first formation.

Drill and ceremony has played a critical part in military history throughout the world.  Drill and ceremony teaches precision and obedience to orders which helps prepare troops for battle.  For the most part the drill procedures are very similar to the tactical maneuvers used on the battlefield. It allows commanders to move their forces from different points in an orderly fashion and maneuver forces as a situation develops.

Cadets prepare to conduct drill and ceremony training.

Our EWU Army ROTC Cadets continue a long line of drill and ceremony training for the United States Army that dates back to the Revolutionary War.  During the war General George Washington, through the assistance of Benjamin Franklin who was the American Ambassador to France, was able to secure the aid of a Prussian officer named Baron Friedrich von Steuben to drill the troops of the Continental Army.

Baron Von Steuben
Baron Friedrich Von Steuben

Von Steuben arrived at Valley Forge on February, 23 1778 and found the Continental Army half-starved and ill equipped for battle.  To correct the conditions he witnessed he immediately began a rigorous training regimen of drill and ceremony to improve the military bearing of the troops.  It had an immediate impact on discipline, professionalism, and confidence of the troops to respond to commands during battle that helped lead to the ultimate defeat of the British military during the war.

Jump Start Cadets practice saluting.

After receiving their initial training the Cadets were then tested with giving and receiving commands while navigating through an obstacle course.  The Cadets were next blindfolded and given commands to march through another obstacle course.  This built the Cadets confidence to accurately give and receive commands from each other.

Cadet Jonathan Thiessen (left) gives commands to Cadet Caleb Geringer (right) to navigate him through an obstacle course.

Cadet Zackary Becker navigates through an obstacle course.

Cadet Nik Chapple is blindfolded and executed commands he received to march through an obstacle course.

During the Jump Start and Basic Camp training the Cadets also conducted Land Navigation training.  This training focused on teaching the Cadets the following skills:

  • Tracking present location
  • Determining Distance
  • Sense of direction
  • How to read a topographic map
  • Terrain and map association
  • Spatial skills
  • Planning safe, practical routes
Cadet Christopher Millward briefs the trainees on the Land Navigation course.

The practical hands on training was conducted at the Cheney Waterworks property near the EWU campus.  There the Cadets were issued grid points that they had to accurately plot on a topographic map and then plot their course to find their assigned points.  The Cadets then used their new compass, terrain analysis, and pace count skills to find the points in the surrounding forest.

Jump Start Cadets, Nicholas Beier (left) and Mykenzie Belliotti find their first land navigation point in ROTC.

Basic Camp Cadet, Corina Lindsey finds a point on the land navigation course.

At each point there is clicker that the Cadets use to mark their score sheet.  After the Cadets found their points they then returned to the start point to have their points graded by the evaluator to ensure they found the correct points.

Cadet Gervacio Camacho evaluates the points that the trainees turn in after completing the land navigation course.

All the Cadets did a great job completing the training despite the various real world circumstances they had to adjust to.  Being flexible and adaptable is part of being an effective leader and all of our Cadets learned that important lesson during the week long training.

Go ROTC! Go Fighting Eags!

Note: More photos from Jump Start and Basic Camp training can be viewed on our Flickr page.

Throwback Thursday: 1970 EWU Army ROTC Commissioning

From our EWU Army ROTC archives comes this newspaper clipping of Kenneth W. Attebery being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant 50 years ago back in 1970.  Back then EWU was known as Eastern Washington State College.  Attebery was commissioned as an officer into the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  According to the caption he was a graduate of West Valley High School and majored in Urban Planning.  His wife Diane and his mother Phyllis pinned the gold bars on his uniform.  Does any of our Fighting Eagles alumni remember Kenneth Attebery?


Hazardous Smoke Covers the Eastern Washington University Campus

EWU smoke

The below video taken on September 13, 2020 shows how smoke covered the the Eastern Washington University campus. The smoke is from wildfires burning across the Pacific Northwest.  EWU Army ROTC wishes the best to everyone negatively impacted by these wildfires. We also offer our condolences to the friends and family of anyone that lost their life from the fires.  We encourage our Cadets to closely monitor their messages and emails for updates on upcoming training activities that may be impacted by the dangerous smoke levels.