Dominic Basilio was one of the commissioned officers in the 2010 Army ROTC class

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Army ROTC officer training mission increases

Bobcat Battalion rewarded for excellence

Because of its longtime excellence, the Ohio University Army ROTC program recently had its officer training mission increased from 21 to 28 beginning with this year's freshmen class.

Lt. Col. Joel Smith said the Bobcat Battalion's reputation as one of the best in the nation and the perception that Ohio University strongly supports military education were contributing factors in the decision.

He said the U.S. Army expects the nation's 272 ROTC programs to produce about 5,300 new officers each year.

"This increased mission number is an indicator that we have a good ROTC program and that we have strong support from our administration," Smith said. "In fact, our mission increase is the largest of any ROTC program in the brigade."

The Bobcat Battalion belongs to the 7th ROTC Brigade, which comprises 38 colleges and universities in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky. Of these schools, only Michigan State
University, Ohio State University and Western Kentucky University have a larger officer training mission than Ohio University. 

The U.S. Army Cadet Command, the organization responsible for Army ROTC, commissions future officers for the U.S. Army and determines the mission of Army ROTC programs.

"The mission of ROTC is to produce officers for the U.S. Army," said Maj. John Hansen, a recruitment and admissions officer for the Bobcat Battalion. "The end result of a battalion's success is the number of trained and solid lieutenants that it pushes out to the Army. These lieutenants will serve in the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Reserve or the Army National Guard." 

Maj. Hansen said the University's ROTC program has developed its reputation of excellence due in large part to the cadets.

"The success is on the cadets. If the cadets didn't push themselves to do well, none of this would happen," Hansen said. "I know in my heart of hearts that the young people we send out to be leaders are competent and confident and are ready to go out and do what they need to do."

Hansen also commends the University's support for and responsiveness to the ROTC program in contributing to the success of the program.

"The administration treats us like an important part of the University. They give us financial support, classroom support and the land we need to train properly." Hansen said. "I think Ohio University has created an atmosphere for ROTC that is just so positive. We're able to make solid leaders and we've been able to bring more and more young people into the program due to what OU
has laid out in front of us and allowed us to do."