Friends, families and faculty watched on as 11 students in the University of Houston’s Army ROTC program took a major step in their military careers.
During a recent ceremony in the O’Quinn Great Hall of UH’s Alumni and Athletics Center (AAC), these ROTC students officially became contracted cadets in the U.S. Army. Upon graduation, they will enter the U.S. Army as commissioned officers. Ten of these students also were awarded scholarships.
Others supporting their accomplishments included UH battalion officers and UH’s corps of cadets. Following a recitation of the cadet creed, the contracting cadets were recognized. They also received framed certificates to commemorate this momentous occasion, as well as their cadet uniforms.
Since fall 2012, the number of UH ROTC cadets with scholarships has expanded from 16 to 30. Lt. Col. Michael J. Smith, battalion commander and professor of military science, anticipates a consistent increase in ROTC scholarships. By fall 2013, UH Army ROTC will have up to 42 cadets on scholarship, Smith said. He attributes this consistent rise in scholarships to the quality of cadets entering UH’s ROTC program.
Scholarships presented during this ceremony included:
- Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) - one awarded
- Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (Requiring service in U.S. Army Reserves following graduation) - six awarded
- Campus Based - three awarded based on performance and participation in UH Army ROTC
UH’s Army ROTC program is comprised of 100 cadets, who are enrolled at UH and local universities including Texas Southern University, UH-Downtown and the University of St. Thomas.
Kevin McEnery, a freshman mechanical engineering major, earned the STEM scholarship and said that UH Army ROTC has been invaluable in his academic and professional development.
“With any kind of professional career, you always need to know how to lead,” he said. “The program here at UH has helped me with my communication and leadership skills and has taught me to step up and be more involved.”
His fellow cadet Jocelyn Salvador, a freshman accounting major, served as battalion commander for her high school’s ROTC unit. She also credits UH’s program with enhancing her abilities as a leader, as well as how to be a productive team member.“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” she said. “To be a leader, you have to follow first and then become a leader. It’s a way of learning to work with other people, which is important whether you’re in the classroom or on a mission.”