Top rankings for ROTC programs in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Top rankings for ROTC programs in Iowa

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

Each summer, students in ROTC, which is an officer commissioning program for college students, participate in the Leaders Development and Assessment Course.

This year, 7,000 students from 273 schools met at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Fort Lewis, Washington.

The results are in and UNI's ROTC program ranked in the top 10 percent of the country.

At least five days a week, members of UNI's Reserve Officer Training Corps go through physical training. The training is part of preparation for the Leaders Development and Assessment Course, or LDAC, each summer.

"It consisted of day and night land navigation, a physical fitness test, situational and tactical exercises and patrolling," said Cadet Wes Gudenkauf.

Typically, outgoing juniors attend LDAC and earn ratings in leadership.

"The ratings are 'N' for needs improvement, 'S' for satisfactory and 'E' for excellent or exceeds standards, which is what we're trying to do here at UNI," said Gudenkauf.

This summer, 20 cadets from UNI and the University of Dubuque attended the course together. Eight of the cadets earned the top rating.

"It was a confirmation of my leadership abilities. I'm ready. I'm excited for challenges in front of me," said Cadet Bethany Fischer.

Out of 273 schools from across the country, UNI ranked 15th.

"I think we took it on ourselves to apply the training we had received and really do our best. We knew what to do, all we had to do was execute," said Fischer.

"We work very hard for what we want to achieve. We're a small program, but that makes us work even harder. We're a pride-filled group and have a lot of unit cohesion," said Cadet Michael Dornbusch.

The leadership course lasted 28 days. Students who attended this summer are now prepping the next group of juniors for the course.

Iowa State University and the University of Iowa also performed very well at LDAC. Iowa ranked ninth and Iowa State placed second in the nation.

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