EWU ROTC Cadre Member Recognized as Cadet Command’s 2023 National Instructor of the Year

For the fouth time in five years, a member of EWU ROTC’s cadre has received recognition as the U.S. Army Cadet Command Instructor of the year. Master Sergeant Cantu received this honor after a lengthy and competitive process among the 274 Army ROTC programs nationwide. This serves as an example of the high-quality instruction and leadership development our cadets receive here at EWU!

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EWU ROTC Instructor Wins Prestigious National Award

EWU ROTC Class of 2023 Seniors receive their #1 Branch

The Army has 17 different branches for Cadets to compete for.  Being selected into one of the branches is the culmination of an assessment process that begins from the very first day a Cadet enters the ROTC program.  Beginning with Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 the U.S. Army has implemented a new system to branch Cadets from its 274 ROTC programs across the country.   The Army calls the new system Talent Based Branching.

The prior accessions process used an Order of Merit List (OML) to rank Cadets across the nation based off of factors such as their GPA, physical fitness test score, Advanced Camp performance, volunteer workColor Guard participation, Ranger Challenge team, etc. Towards the beginning of their senior year, Cadets would rank order their preference of the 17 branches (career fields) in the Army they want to assess into. Their OML ranking as part of the Army’s accessions process was the primary means of deciding which branch they will receive. With Talent Based Branching, all these prior factors are still considered – but representatives from each of the Army branches (career fields) are now part of the process of determining if a cadet’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors (KSBs) are a good fit from a talent perspective. Cadets will have the opportunity to interview with each branch representative and the Professor of Military Science will provide recommendations based on their observations of each Cadet. The ultimate goal of the TBB process is finding the right fit from both the Cadet and branch’s perspective so that we place leaders in positions that they can maximize their talent and abilities. OML does still play a role, but Army branch feedback plays the most significant role in determining a Cadet’s career future.


EWU Completes Spring FTX with Gonzaga and Central Washington Universities

EWU, CWU and GU Cadets conduct Spring FTX training at Camp 7 Mile, WA

From April 22-24, EWU Army ROTC completed our Spring Field Training Exercise (FTX) with cadets from Central Washington University and Gonzaga University. We blended the nearly 150 cadets together to help them develop their team-building skills and prepare our juniors for the pivotal Advanced Camp assessment they will undergo this summer. Cadets had to complete day and night land navigation, sleep out in the cold for a couple of nights, and endure days of difficult situational training exercise lanes against a determined opposition force. It was a tough experience, but our cadets finished strong and they walked away with a better sense of confidence in who they are as leaders and their personal strength.

5th SFAB provides teaching/coaching/mentoring support
Cadets conducted air MEDEVAC training with Rainier Dustoff

A big thank you to Rainier Dustoff for the helicopter support, 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade for the coaching/mentoring/training support, and CWU and GU for working together with us to make such a great event for all of our cadets!

Go Eags!

EWU ROTC Cadets at the Spring FTX

BG (Ret.) Olive Selected by EWU for 2022 Alumni Award for Military Service

BG (Ret.) Olive with EWU Cadets at the Awards Gala

On April 15th, we had the privilege of hosting a visit from Brigadier General (Retired) Nikki Griffin Olive from the class of 1990, who was selected by EWU for the 2022 Alumni Award for Military Service. BG Griffin Olive spent nearly 30 years as a Signal Corps officer before being promoted and becoming a General Officer. She spent the morning providing a leader professional development session for cadets and sharing stories from her time in ROTC – which sounded very familiar to the experience of current cadets. This was inspiring cadets since it shows that she was just like them and that if they apply themselves after graduation, they too have limitless possibilities for success in the U.S. Army and beyond. BG Griffin Olive then had some speaking engagements with Computer Science classes to talk about her experiences leading in a technical field. We concluded her visit with the 2022 Alumni Awards Gala and had a great time celebrating her success and the sense of promise for the next generation of officers from the EWU Army ROTC Program. A special thank you to Colonel (ret) Albert J Watson and his wife Jean, Colonel (ret) Don Nelson, and LTC (ret) Jerry Mellick for purchasing tables so that cadets could attend and experience this event as well provide maximum support from the program to BG (ret) Griffin Olive during the ceremony. Go Eags!


Fighting Eagles Battalion 2022 Dining Out

Cadets present the colors to begin the formal ceremonies

On Friday, March 18th, EWU ROTC hosted its 2022 Dining Out in Hargreaves Hall on campus. All of the attendees enjoyed a chance to dress up, socialize, and even engage in some shenanigans by calling each other out over “violations of the mess.” Not event the Professor Military Science escaped scrutiny and, like all the other violators, had to drink from “the Grog.”  Our MSIV (senior) and MSIII (junior) Cadets shared their favorite memories of ROTC and each other.


MSI and MSII Cadets add ingredients with symbolic meaning to the “Grog”

Cadets who violated the “Rules of the Mess” take a drink from the “Grog”

We closed the evening with our guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Brad Liberg, class of 1981. Brad retired after 22 years and a battalion command in the Army, followed by a successful 18 years in education culminating with him becoming Principal of Pasadena Park Elementary School in Spokane Valley. His story shows ROTC can be a springboard to success in two very different chapters in life.

Guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Brad Liberg and his wife, Tamera

 It was a great night and there was a lot of fun had by all!

Second Lieutenant Hunter Smith Earns Army Achievement Medal for Recruiting Efforts

Congratulations to Second Lieutenant (2LT) Hunter Smith who earned an Army Achievement Medal for his work with the ROTC faculty as a recruiter.  After graduating from EWU with a degree in mechanical engineering this past summer, 2LT Smith joined our faculty while he waited for the start of the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course this February, followed by Ranger School. During his time working as faculty, 2LT Smith made a major impact in recruiting and spreading the word to local high schools about the opportunity EWU ROTC provides.  We wish him all the best, safe travels and success in his upcoming training!

Professor of Military Science, LTC Van Meter presents 2LT Smith the Army Achievement Medal.