Same mission, different semester


Students have trained since the beginning of the fall semester for the Ranger Challenge.

Twenty thousand students have occupied WSU’s campus the last two weeks. One hundred and twenty of them are involved in Army ROTC, a program that allows interested students to be educated in both their major field of study and military science.

“Everybody from freshmen to senior [cadets] will be involved,” said Garry Nestler, WSU’s Army ROTC scholarships enrollment officer.

Every year, Army ROTC sets up an interactive schedule that takes the cadets inside and outside of the classroom. This fall, weekly labs have begun and several special events will take place at the end of September.

At the beginning of the semester, cadets were provided an annual training plan outline comparable to a syllabus. The first major event in this training plan is the Ranger Challenge, held in October.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Heatherly, professor of military science, said the WSU Army ROTC program will host the event while WSU cadets compete in it with other regional cadets.

There will be many participants in the competition from many different areas.

“About 300 cadets from all over will be competing at the Ranger Challenge,” Nestler stated.

Following the Ranger Challenge, a Veteran’s Day Event will be held on Nov. 30, which will include a distinguished guest speaker, live music, and a presentation by the Color Guard.

To end the semester, a Commissioning Ceremony will be held in December for cadets graduating from the program. During the ceremony, the commissioned cadets will officially be recognized as officers in the U.S. Army.

Of the numerous cadets participating in Army ROTC, only about fifteen to twenty will be commissioned, Heatherly said.

The Army ROTC’s goal is to accept capable men and women and train them to be exceptional military officers, and to provide an environment where the Cadets can work as a team in order to accomplish their common goals.

They also feel it is important that they nurture an all-inclusive environment.

“We want everybody to work as one unit, as a team,” Heatherly said. “Same opportunities, same responsibilities.”

Among the skills cadets will learn while enrolled in Army ROTC and military science courses are first aid, rifle marksmanship, water survival training, and land navigation.

However, students who choose to enroll in the program are not limited to just this kind of training.

For students interested in the medical aspect of the military, Army ROTC offers a nursing program in which students can obtain their nursing degree by the end of their undergraduate work at WSU.

Students pursuing their nursing degree through Army ROTC will be taught at the Washington State University College of Nursing in Spokane.

To learn more about WSU’s Army ROTC, or to get involved, visit