Southern University's Army ROTC recruits the best, brightest
The Southern University Army ROTC program’s mission is to recruit, train, maintain and commission future leaders in the United States Army. They have done that pretty well over the years on the Baton Rouge campus, producing eight generals, including national hero Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré.
Now, the Army ROTC program is stepping up its recruitment effort, adding new trainers and a goal to recruit some of the best and brightest to SU.
Housed in Leonce E. Gaiter Hall, the Army ROTC program is alive and well and looking for some good students, said Maj. Brian Marcotte, professor of Military Science.
“We have the talent here to train students with the best training that the ROTC can offer throughout the nation. We instill the leadership and discipline characteristics that will prove worthwhile in any endeavors students pursue in the military or as civilians,” said Marcotte.
To qualify for the program, students must have and maintain a 2.0 grade point average and pass the physical fitness test.
For those students unsure if this is the path for them, MSG Ramon Martinez encourages students in their freshmen and sophomore year to take classes in the program. “The MS1 (Military Science) or MS2 year is the time to see if you like the army without owing anything to the army,” Martinez said.
The program is four years with each year devoted to teaching the skills students need for success as an army officer. Here’s how it works: MS1, freshmen year, teaches army basics; MS2, sophomore year, trains for the army; and MS3, junior year, is the year students learn land navigation skills, time management skills, and to properly execute the train and field craft.
At the end of the third year, students are sent to Fort Lewis in Washington to be graded on their skills and assessed on physical fitness, land navigation, and leadership capabilities. The assessment determines whether the student will become an officer and can serve active army, reserve or National Guard.
Martinez believes the Army ROTC program prepares students for the future. Attending school and being apart of the program “gives you all the tools in life to be successful,” says Martinez.
Marcotte said, “The things you learn in ROTC will transfer into your other academics and personal life. On top of that the ROTC has a lot to offer as far as housing and financial benefits.”
The ROTC offers scholarships and programs to their students. A student could earn a three-year scholarship, meaning they come in their freshmen year, take the courses and if they pass the physical test, have a 2.0 g.p.a. and have the potential, the program will pay for the rest of their college career and housing while in the program. Sounds good.
Another avenue would be the Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) in which a student can participate in both the National Guard and Southern’s ROTC program at the same time. This two-year course provides perks such as qualifying for up to 100 percent tuition with the Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship, earn cash bonuses, receive monthly allowances, and get more money every month through the Montgomery G.I. Bill and Guard Kicker.
While students are in these programs and attending Southern, they will not be deployed if their unit is called out.
Southern’s Army ROTC Program has been around for years and their goal is to continue to supply the U.S. Army with the best leaders.
“The team we establish is highly motivating that looks to push themselves. They are willing to travel the world. With the history of the program with General Honoré who graduated, shows the caliber of people Southern produces,” said Sgt. Les Miller, Master Sgt. 1 instructor and trainer.
For more information contact the ROTC Office at 225-771-2104 or stop by the Leonce E. Gaiter Hall.
In the photo from left to right: SGT 1st Class Spencer Lewis, MS 2 Instructor; MSG Ramon Martinez, MS3 Instructor; Maj. Brian Marcotte, professor of Military Science; and SGT 1st Class Les Miller, MS1 Instructor.