ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio University's Army ROTC program is ranked first out of the 13 programs in Ohio and 30th out of the 270 programs nationwide in an annual rating of overall quality.
"We've always had an outstanding program, and it's great we're getting recognized for it," said Matt Hunter, a senior Ohio University political science major. "Our program has always been committed to preparing the students for futures with the military and giving them a solid foundation."
Lt. Col. Douglas Orr, professor of military science and commander of the Ohio University Army ROTC Battalion, said that the recognition is most beneficial for the students. The program's growing reputation will aid the students when graduation arrives. By being affiliated with such a high-ranking program, the students have a better likelihood of getting their preferred jobs or positions when they are commissioned.
The annual process is based on a point system that considers each university's quality and quantity of graduating cadets. Using packets of information from the graduating seniors that include transcripts, training camp results and physical fitness details, these are reviewed and tallied to slate the programs' rankings.
The recognition, Orr said, highlights the program's emphasis on quality. He said that the program has a track record for success and is focused on giving the students innovative opportunities to further their training. For example, they have a unique hand grenade assault course. Their leadership reaction course challenges students to complete missions and overcome obstacles with limited supplies. These team-building exercises are possible, Orr said, because of the University's support and large landscape.
Since its early debut in 1936, the program has gained in national acclaim. Last year, it was ranked 2nd out of the Ohio programs and 62nd nationwide. Orr said that their future goals are even higher. "We want to sustain a high quality program and try to move into the top 10 percent of the nation in ranking."
The program, which includes 55 cadets and 20 participating students, was recognized at a ceremony in Nashville during early December for their accomplishment. There, they received a Louisville Slugger baseball bat as a makeshift trophy. Orr said that the greatest reward, though was the honor that the status entails. "I think the recognition is great for the school and for the cadets. It's good for their morale because they are being nationally recognized for all their hard work."