ROTC Program to Celebrate 100 Years of Excellence

April 13, 2016

MISSOULA – The University of Montana ROTC program invites the public to celebrate the national ROTC’s 100th birthday with a party from 11 a.m. to noon Friday, April 15, at UM’s Schreiber Gymnasium.

The event will celebrate ROTC’s long and storied tradition of producing exceptional leaders and will reflect on the many cadets who have displayed valor during their service. The celebration is free and open to the public, and attendees are invited to stay for lunch.

The passage of the National Defense Act established the nationwide Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps in 1916. UM’s ROTC program has been active nearly as long, with the University’s first commissioned officers graduating in 1922. Since then, UM has produced more than 1,800 Army officers.

Today, the program boasts some of the finest instructors in the country, including Cap. Patrick Beckwith, who was named 2015 United States Army Cadet Command Instructor of the Year.

“We value our relationship with the University and the community,” said Lt. Col. Chad Carlson, who oversees UM’s ROTC program. “We would like to take this opportunity to show that appreciation by commemorating 100 years of our history and the amazing shared relationship that we have developed over the years and hope to improve on in the future.”

The ROTC birthday celebration will kick off a new fundraising effort to honor and celebrate this long tradition of excellence. With support from donors in the community, the Department of Military Science, which oversees UM’s ROTC program, will renovate a Hall of Fame currently located near the Schreiber Gym atrium. The Hall of Fame displays the many achievements ROTC and department alums have accomplished over the decades. The Hall of Fame will act as a testament to the rich history of the program at UM and honor those who have shown tremendous leadership and courage through their service.

In addition to the Hall of Fame, military science hopes to replace the cannon used at UM football games to celebrate touchdowns with a more functional model. Once retired, the current cannon will become a monument outside Schreiber Gym, where it will symbolize the strong traditions the Department of Military Science has helped build within the UM community.

For specific questions regarding the Schreiber Gymnasium and football cannon upgrades, email kris.pyette@mso.umt.edu. Those interested in making a contribution to this effort can do so online at http://supportum.org/give/, adding “Military Sciences Maintenance Fund” to the comments/additional information box. Supporters may also mail checks to:

University of Montana Foundation
P.O. Box 7159
Missoula, MT 59807
Memo line on check: Military Sciences Maintenance Fund

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Contact: Maj. Kris Pyette, U.S. Army, Department of Military Science, 406-243-4326, kris.pyette@mso.umt.edu; Bitty Balducci, assistant director of development, UM College of Humanities and Sciences, 406-243-2568, bitty.balducci@mso.umt.edu.