The Reserve Officers’ Training Corps will be cut from the PSUC campus beginning in 2015 because of several military budget cuts throughout the country.
ROTC, which was created in 1916 under President Woodrow Wilson as part of the National Defense Act of 1916, is a series of elective courses that college students would take in addition with courses for their four-year degree.
Commissionees would typically take ROTC courses for four years, take a six-week summer camp, and would be required to be enrolled in college full time.
ROTC cadets at PSUC have been able to experience training in areas such as parachuting, Air Assault Training, Mountain Warfare School and Cadet Troop Leadership Training.
PSUC cadets were also able to participate in rappelling, cold weather training, field training exercises and leadership labs.
Cadets were also able to participate in PSUC’s Color Guard and the Ranger Challenge team with University of Vermont.
According to the Plattsburgh website, ROTC commissions up to 70 percent of the second lieutenants who join the active U.S. Army,
Army National Guard, and the Army Reserve, and more than half of the current active Army General Officers were recruited through ROTC.
PSUC President John Ettling said the school’s administration was made aware of the U.S. Department of Defense decision, but upon receiving word, “it was clear we had several things to put into perspective.” Namely, Ettling said, how this elimination would affect ROTC students and faculty members.
After contacting New York Congressman Bill Owens, Ettling said it was clear that due to the PSUC chapter’s smaller numbers, it would be one of the first to be cut.
Lt. Col. Douglas Goodfellow, who has been the PSUC chapter’s recruiting operations officer since its 2007 start, said he is disappointed to see the end of this program, as there are many benefits to having it on a campus such as PSUC.
“In a world where the job market isn’t always promising, the ROTC program gives students a guaranteed job immediately following graduation, as well as providing great leadership skills for students at a young age,” Goodfellow said.
Steven Rohrig, a senior ROTC cadet at PSUC, said he appreciated the program for not only the leadership skills it offers, but because it also teaches life skills and provides trainees with plenty of opportunities for community service.
“It is a great program that teaches you to relate to a career,” Rohrig said.
Ettling said although the reinstatement of the ROTC program at PSUC is not currently in consideration, it is an option for the future.
Until then, remaining PSUC cadets will have to finish weekly training sessions at the University of Vermont and Camp Johnson, located just across Lake Champlain.
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