Penn State Army ROTC program selected as General Douglas MacArthur Award winner

Nittany Lion Battalion one of eight Army ROTC units recognized for excellence nationwide
MacArthur Award presentation

Penn State President Eric Barron, center, presented the 2017 MacArthur Award to Penn State’s Army ROTC program during ceremonies held March 27 at Schwab Auditorium. Pictured with President Barron, left to right, are Master Sgt. Branden Syverson, Col. Richard Garey, Cadet Michael Fisher, and Cadet Eric Behringer.

Credit: Patrick Mansell

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Army ROTC program has been selected as a General Douglas MacArthur Award winner for 2017-18, outperforming 41 other programs in the Northeast for the honor.

The award is presented annually to the top Army ROTC program in each of the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s eight brigades, with the winning units selected from among the 275 Army ROTC programs nationwide.

Penn State’s Army ROTC unit — the Nittany Lion Battalion — is one of 42 battalions in the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s 2nd Brigade, headquartered at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and a member of the Eastern Region Cadet Command. The Nittany Lion Battalion is the largest pure Army ROTC program in the country and consists of four companies located at Penn State’s University Park and Altoona campuses.

Penn State President Eric Barron accepted the MacArthur Award from Col. Matthew Rauscher, commander of the U.S. Army’s 2nd ROTC Brigade, on behalf of the Nittany Lion Battalion during Penn State’s annual Joint Service Awards Ceremony, held today (March 27) at Schwab Auditorium.

“Congratulations to the Penn State Army ROTC program on its selection for the distinguished General Douglas MacArthur Award for 2017-2018,” said Barron. “Penn State’s outstanding cadets, program leaders, faculty and staff bring honor to our University, and I’m thrilled that the United States Department of the Army has chosen to recognize them in this very significant way.”

MacArthur Award illustration

Penn State Army ROTC, the Nittany Lion Battalion, received the 2017 MacArthur Award during a ceremony held March 27 at Schwab Auditorium. The award recognizes the eight programs, selected from the 275 ROTC units nationwide, as the top programs in the country.

Credit: Patrick Mansell

Presented since 1989 by Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation, the MacArthur Award is bestowed upon those units that best represent the ideals of “duty, honor and country,” as advocated by MacArthur, the former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point who led U.S. forces in the Pacific theater during World War II. Selection for the award is based on a combination of the achievement of the school's commissioning mission, its cadets' performance and standing on the Cadet Command's National Order of Merit List, and its cadet retention rate.

“It is an honor to be selected for the MacArthur Award,” said Col. Richard Garey, professor of military science and commander of the University’s Army ROTC program. “The selection demonstrates the commitment of the cadets to the program and their performance, both in ROTC and outside of ROTC, as well as the continued support of the University for our program, which really enables our cadets to be successful.”

Joining Penn State as winners of this year’s MacArthur Award are the University of North Georgia, representing the Cadet Command's 1st Brigade; Minnesota State University - Mankato, representing the 3rd Brigade; Campbell University, representing the 4th Brigade; Brigham Young University, representing the 5th Brigade; Florida Southern College, representing the 6th Brigade; Ohio University, representing the 7th Brigade; and the University of Washington, representing the 8th Brigade.

Penn State Behrend’s “Pride of PA” battalion previously won a General Douglas MacArthur Award in 2013.