Throwback Thursday: 1995 EWU Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

1995 Commisssioning

1995 Commisssioning

Here is an old picture that was labeled simply 1995.  It appears to be a commissioning ceremony for three Cadets being held in our current ROTC classroom at Cadet Hall.  Does any alumni recognize any of the three individuals in this photograph from 25 years ago?

EWU Army ROTC Cadet Receives the Major General Barbara R. Holcomb Nurse Cadet Excellence Award

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program is pleased to announce that Kylie Crooks has been awarded the Major General (MG) Barbara R. Holcomb Nurse Cadet Excellence Award.  The award recognizes the top nursing Cadet in the 8th ROTC Brigade that covers the 30 different ROTC programs across the west coast of the United States to include major universities such as USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Washington St. etc.  MG Barbara Holcomb is a 1987 graduate from the Seattle University’s ROTC program and the former Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.  She retired from active duty last year and established this award to recognize nursing excellence in the brigade.

Kylie Crooks
EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Kylie Crooks.

Cadet Crooks is studying nursing and is on pace to graduate with honors.  She has also demonstrated a high level of physical fitness by scoring above 90 points on each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test.  She has further demonstrated her fitness by receiving a Gold German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) during testing held by German Army officials at EWU.  She was also selected for a Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship that is currently paying her full tuition.  Kylie last summer completed ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky where she received the highest rating of “Outstanding”.  Besides being a Cadet, Kylie also serves as a watercraft engineer in the U.S. Army Reserve’s 467th Transportation Company.

After graduating from EWU and the Washington State University College of Nursing in December 2020, Kylie will commission as an officer into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.  She will then attend basic officer training and be assigned to an Army hospital where she hopes to specialize in being an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse.  She also has a long term goal of pursing a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner in the future. EWU Army ROTC wishes Cadet Crooks all the best in her future endeavors and congratulate her for receiving this prestigious award.

Cadet Crooks
Cadet Crooks after completing a 12-mile ruck march.

Is Army Nursing for You?

Any EWU student who wants to be a healthcare professional and has an interest in serving their country should consider Army nursing.  If you are not sure if the Army is for you, ROTC is the one way to explore military service with no obligation to join.  Our nursing Cadets complete their first two to three years of Nursing and ROTC pre-requisites on Eastern’s Cheney campus. The nursing Cadets then complete their final two years at the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing in downtown Spokane.  The WSU College of Nursing reserves seats in each class for ROTC Nurses that achieve their admissions standards.  To qualify for one of the reserved nursing seats you must make the decision to contract into ROTC by then.

EWU Army ROTC currently has the largest Cadet nursing program in Washington State and the Inland Northwest.  We have a proven track record of our nursing Cadets receiving scholarships and going on to become healthcare professionals in service to our nation.  You can learn more about our nursing program at this link and feel free to contact us at this link with any questions.

Go ROTC!  Go Army Nursing!

EWU Army ROTC Cadets Use Virtual Gaming Software to Train on Military Tactics

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused much change in the lives of people around the country to include here at Eastern Washington University (EWU).  In response to the pandemic all classes for Spring Quarter have been moved online to include the entire Military Science curriculum.  One of the biggest characteristics of being an Army officer is to be adaptable to changing conditions and the “Fighting Eagles” Cadets of the EWU Army ROTC program are learning that first hand right now.

Cadet Christian Goldbach logs into the Fortnite software to prepare for his weekly Leadership Lab. As an evaluator Cadet Goldbach has his Ranger Handbook and other documents ready to train assess Cadets during the lab.

Physical Training

This first major adaption has been with the unit’s physical training program (PT).  The ROTC program’s mandatory PT sessions are held on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday mornings.  To keep a sense of normalcy, the ROTC Cadre has kept the PT schedule the same during the pandemic, however the Cadets meet up in a virtual Zoom classroom each morning.

Morning PT
Cadet Beier briefs the morning PT session over Zoom.

Two Cadets are assigned to lead each PT session for the other Cadets to follow along with over their smartphones.  After the completion of the warmup exercises they then brief the workout plan for each Cadet to complete that day that is also posted on social media:

After the completion of the workout the Cadets then log the workout on to the Strava app. Strava gives the program the ability to track the total distances and times of the exercises for each Cadet.

Strava App

Leadership Labs

Another challenge the program faced was being able to conduct Leadership Labs in a way that would still give Cadets the ability to practice platoon level tactics and leadership.  During Spring Break the EWU Army ROTC Cadre experimented with a number of first person gaming platforms to determine one that would best virtually replicate a Leadership Lab.  It was decided that the Fortnite software was the best one to handle the large number of Cadets and give the Cadre the flexibility to build virtual worlds to replicate the terrain the Cadets train in during standard Leadership Labs.

In the first two weeks, Fighting Eagles Cadets have familiarized themselves with the program and conducted a Platoon Formations and Order Of Movement (FOOM) training, practiced actions when crossing a Linear Danger Areas (LDA), and Actions on Contact (AoC).

Signs in the game direct Cadets to start point of their next training lane just like in real life.

Cadets assault through an objective.

The Cadets are divided up into three different platoons and enter their assigned virtual world accompanied by a cadre member and a MS-IV Cadet evaluator to guide and assess them.  Inside the virtual world the Cadets are evaluated on how they perform their movements and tactics as if they were in the real world.  During the lab the Cadets communicate with each other through the Discord app.  This allows Cadets in leadership positions to perform their Troop Leading Procedures (TLP’s) and give out orders during the platoon training lanes.

The current pandemic has created a challenging training environment, but part of leadership is overcoming adversity.  Former General of the Army, George C. Marshall understood this very well:

The lack of equipment, the lack of food, the lack of this or that are only excuses; the real leader displays his quality in his triumphs over adversity, however great it may be.”
General of the Army George C Marshall, and former Secretary of State & Secretary of Defense

Despite the limitations caused by the current pandemic, EWU Army ROTC leadership is committed to providing the highest quality training possible to prepare our Cadets to become future Army leaders.  If you want to explore a Military Science course, it is still possible to sign up for ROTC this Spring Quarter.  If you are interested in joining us in one of our virtual classes, physical training workouts, or Leadership Labs please contact us using this link or email us at to learn more.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!  

Throwback Thursday: EWU Army ROTC Color Guard Welcomes President Ford

Here is a Throwback Thursday image of when the Eastern Washington University Army ROTC Color Guard presented the colors to welcome the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford to EWU.  The former President visited  37 years ago to celebrate the university’s 100th anniversary on April 14th, 1982.  Do any of our Fight Eagles alumni from the 1980’s remember this event?

Throwback Thursday: The 2002 EWU Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Team

2002 EWU Ranger Challenge Team

2002 EWU Ranger Challenge Team

This picture is of the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army ROTC Ranger Challenge team from 2002. The plaque they are holding says the male team was the 2nd place finishers at the competition that year.  Does anyone from the 2002 team remember where the competition was held that year and remember anyone from this team?

EWU Army ROTC Announces Virtual Training Plan for Spring Quarter 2020

COVID-19 letter

To all of our Eastern Washington University Army ROTC Cadets, below is a letter that addresses the way ahead for Spring Quarter instruction.  Please stay tuned to our website and social media channels for future updates on Spring Quarter instruction.

A PDF copy of this letter can be downloaded at this link.