UH Army ROTC honored as best in nation with MacArthur Award

Lt. Col. Neil T. Chaffee named Professor of Military Science of the Year for 5th ROTC Brigade

The U.S. Army Cadet Command has honored the University of Houston with the MacArthur Award, which recognizes UH as one of the top eight senior Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) units out of 275 nationwide in the 2014-2015 school year.

In addition, Lieutenant Colonel Neil T. Chaffee, head of the UH Army ROTC Corps and director of the UH Military Science Program, was named Professor of Military Science of the Year for the 5th ROTC Brigade.

Both recognitions will be awarded during an on-campus ceremony on April 14. Brigadier General Sean Gainey from the United States Army Cadet Command based at Ft. Knox, Kentucky will present the awards.

The MacArthur Award recognizes Army ROTC programs that demonstrate the ideals of "duty, honor and country" as advocated by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The award is based on a combination of the achievement of the school's commissioning mission, its Cadets' performance and standing on the command's National Order of Merit List, and its cadet retention rate.

The U.S. Army Cadet Command and the MacArthur Foundation have given the awards annually since 1989.

“I remain very proud of my team here in the Army ROTC Department for earning the 2015 MacArthur Award,” Chafee says. “We have a shared vision of recruiting high-quality cadets at the University of Houston and building them into agile and adaptive leaders for our nation’s military,” says Chaffee.

Chaffee assumed duties as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Houston in January 2015.

He grew up in Houston and attended Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Masters of Military Arts & Science degree from the Army Command & General Staff College. He also holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chaffee was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army’s aviation branch upon graduation from Texas A&M University in 1994. He earned his flight wings and designation as an Army Aviator in 1995 at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Chaffee’s professional career centers on Sensitive Reconnaissance Operations with manned and unmanned aircraft. He has served multiple overseas assignments to the Balkans, Southwest Asia, South America and Europe. He is a Master Army Aviator and has accumulated over 4,000 flight hours in various rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.

“I am honored to be recognized as the 2015 PMS of the Year for the 5th ROTC Brigade,” says Chaffee. “The fact is, the team earned it and I simply represent them. I work alongside some great Americans. They want to best for our students. They certainly want the best for our nation.”

- By Monica Byars