CWUArmy NewsArmy News Army ROTC cadets back from successful weekend training at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 21 May 2019 17:03:35<p><img alt="CWU cadet leave helicopter at training" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 211px; margin: 3px; float: right;">A battalion of CWU Army ROTC cadets are back in Ellensburg following a rigorous four-day spring field training exercise (FTX).</p><p>“It was great training; all objectives were met,” said an obviously pleased Major Bonnie Kovatch, CWU’s Army ROTC detachment commander.</p><p>Typically, the FTX has taken place at the Yakima Training Center. But it was unavailable this year because of the needs of operational Army units. Fortunately, Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) had available space, which actually worked out better for the CWU cadets.</p><p><img alt="Some of the CWU cadets involved in training" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 402px; margin: 3px; float: right;">“As compared to the desert scenario at the Yakima Training Center, one of the benefits of being at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was that it gave us an opportunity to more closely replicate the environment that our [junior] cadets will see during their summer training at Fort Knox, Kentucky,” noted Kovatch. “The terrain was extremely challenging; many cadets had never ‘broken brush’ before, and the weather did not always cooperate. That forced them to rely on their mental toughness and use all of the gear and equipment they brought.”&nbsp;</p><p>Among the cadets was junior Justin Lester from Chewelah, who was participating in his third spring FTX, but his first at JBLM.</p><p>“It’s a whole different animal to go out into the field and to live out of your pack for a couple of days,” he said. “We ate MREs (meals ready to eat), there wasn’t any hot food, we were always on the move, always anticipating that something might happen. It’s just an entirely different experience from what you’d expect being a college student.”&nbsp;</p><p>The Army National Training Center scenario the cadets faced involved American troops being called in to aid an allied nation in overcoming a rogue force. The exercise began Thursday when the cadets were flown to the training site by three Washington Army National Guard helicopters.</p><p>Sophomore Maria Lubag, from Lacey, was on her first spring field training exercise, of which the helicopter trip had additional significance.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>“In the Army, I see myself going aviation,” she said. “I had never gotten into a Blackhawk, or any type of military aircraft [before].”&nbsp;</p><p>To make the training more realistic, the cadets were issued all of their equipment before they got to JBLM, Kovatch explained.</p><p>“They were flying in that helicopter just as they would if they had been deployed in a real-world environment,” she continued. “They had their pack on their lap, weapon between their legs, Kevlar on their head, ear pro in their ears. They were in the scenario by the time we got on that bird. The thrill of the aviation aspect came through even during the infill (loading) and exfill (unloading) of the event. It motivated everyone—myself included.”&nbsp;</p><p>During the training, the rogue force opposing the CWU Army cadets was partially comprised by their peer cadets from the university’s Air Force ROTC program.</p><p>“The 18 participating Air Force Cadets were fantastic,” Kovatch noted. “They love to volunteer to help us with our training. They were deliberate in all of their engagements with the Army cadets and provided valuable feedback on where they could improve in their tactical movements, particularly sight and noise discipline.”</p><p><img alt="CWU cadet looking through rifle scope" src="" style="width: 300px; height: 432px; margin: 3px; float: right;">The four-day training, which was entirely planned by CWU senior Army ROTC cadets over the last five months, evaluated cadets on the lessons, tactics, and theory they have learned throughout the year in the classroom and the leadership labs held around campus during the year were put into practice.</p><p>“I’m confident the MS IVs (seniors) are ready to commission and lead soldiers,” Kovatch stated. “I know the MS IIIs (juniors) will perform well at Cadet Summer Training.&nbsp; And it’s apparent the underclassmen pushed themselves beyond their preconceived limits and grew both as individuals and as a team. The cadets are going to be talking about the Spring 2019 FTX for years!”</p><p>Kovatch noted that much of her cadets’ success is due to the academic rigor, along with the physical demands, of the award-winning military science minor offered by CWU. The just completed training served as a capstone for graduating seniors who will receive their Central degrees and second lieutenant commissioning just weeks from now.</p><p>It’s been a busy year for the Central cadets. They have also trained alongside the 1st Special Forces Group and Second Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, which are both recognized as elite Army operational forces. After that training, the CWU cadets indicated they saw active-duty troops doing exactly what was being taught in the university classroom.</p><p>“For me, those comments just solidified that we have a Class A cadre and that we are stewards of the profession, that we are training to standard and doctrine, and that we are building resilience and confidence into our cadets so that they do step out into the operational force as better lieutenants,” Kovatch added.</p><p>Lester concurred, adding, “When you are in this type of organization it’s, more or less, a family. And I have really felt that, since day one, that it’s an organization that can support and nurture you, regardless of your goals, and it’s something you can be part of that’s bigger than yourself.”&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p>CWU Speaker Series Debut Presentation Calculates the True Cost of War, 06 Mar 2019 08:19:40<p><img alt="" src="" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; margin: 3px; float: right;">Phil Klay knows the complicated emotions that play out whenever a member of the United States military completes a deployment. The author of <em>Redeployment</em>, Klay will visit CWU on Saturday, March 9 as the inaugural speaker in the university’s new Lt. General Terry Robling Speaker Series.</p><p>Klay’s work is a collection of 12 short stories that take readers to the front lines of the Iraq war and back. His book explores issues of faith, fault, fear, and ferocity that soldiers experience during war, along with the sense of despondency and loneliness that accompany many when they get home.</p><p>“From the outset, I always knew that I was writing a collection, that it was going to have a variety of voices, and that they were going to explore different aspects of the Iraq war experience,” Klay said. “I think that is an important part of coming to terms with your own experiences. It’s not just about looking into yourself but also trying to find ways to communicate with other people. I really don’t think you understand yourself, or what you’ve been through until you’re able to communicate it to another human being.”</p><p>Major Bonnie Kovatch, CWU military science professor and chair of CWU’s award-winning Army ROTC Department will interview Klay during the free, public presentation, which begins at 11:00 a.m. in CWU’s McConnell Auditorium.</p><p>“Mr. Klay gives voice to the true struggle of military veterans and his reflections challenge us to examine both our personal and professional identities,” added Kovatch. “Central’s Military Science program is committed to developing leaders of character to serve the nation through both field-training and academic exercises. In that regard, I appreciate the space Mr. Klay’s work creates for our cadets and anyone—in or out of uniform—to engage on a topic as complex and emotional as war.”</p><p><em><img alt="" src="" style="width: 150px; height: 226px; margin: 3px; float: right;">Redeployment</em> was ranked as one of the New York Times’ “Ten Best Books of 2014.” It also received the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for “a best first book published in any genre”; and the American Library Association’s 2015 W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction.</p><p>The new university speaker series is named for Robling, a retired three-star Marine Corps general and CWU alumnus. Now the Chief Executive Officer of PKL Services in Poway, California, Robling was also honored with a 2017 <a href="" target="_blank">CWU Distinguished Alumni Award</a>.</p><p>“It’s been an honor to work with Lt. General Robling, and Central’s development office to bring Mr. Klay to campus,” said Major Bonnie Kovatch, Military Science Professor and Chair of CWU’s award-winning Army ROTC Department.</p><p>Following this presentation, Klay will be on-hand for a noon book-signing of his work, copies of which will be available at McConnell Auditorium. It’s sponsored by the CWU Army ROTC Wildcat Detachment,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">College of Education and Professional Studies</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">CWU Veterans Center</a>, and the <a href="" target="_blank">Wildcat Shop</a>.</p><p><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p>Two CWU Army ROTC alumni graduate from United States Army Ranger School, 06 Apr 2017 15:32:25<p>Two Central Washington University military science degree recipients are among the most recent graduates of the prestigious United States Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga.</p><p>Second Lieutenant Hauke Harfst, a 2016 CWU alumnus, and Captain Victor McKenzie, 2010, completed the 61-day program, which encompasses the military’s most elite training. Just half of the enrolled students successfully complete the arduous, three-phase course that exhausts their emotional, mental, and physical limits.</p><p>At CWU, Harfst and McKenzie prepared for their military careers through their involvement with the university’s award-winning Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program.</p><p>“When we learn about our former students achieving such elite levels of success, it shows that we are doing exactly what’s needed in preparing them for careers in military service,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Ackiss, CWU military science department chair, and head of the Army ROTC detachment.<br><br>Established in 1981, the nationally regarded CWU Army ROTC “Wildcat Battalion,” named for the university’s mascot, consistently produces distinguished military graduates, such as Harfst and McKenzie.<br>&nbsp;<br>They were also part of the detachment’s Ranger Challenge squad. The CWU unit participates, and often, wins, at the Task Force Pacific Northwest competition at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma. The annual challenge, known as the ROTC’s Super Bowl, involves competing units from colleges and universities throughout the western United States and beyond.<br><br>CWU’s Ranger Challenge team also earned international distinction through winning its way into the 2012 International Sandhurst Competition, held at the West Point (New York) Military Academy, against active duty and reserve military units from around the world. CWU cadets topped all ROTC teams at that event, not to mention peers from the United State Air Force, Coast Guard and Naval academies.<br><br>Harfst, a native of Yakima, who also served as the Associated Students of CWU vice president for Academic Affairs, and McKenzie, from Sumner, who played for the CWU men’s rugby team, will now be stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Lewis. McKenzie previously served in Afghanistan.<br><br><strong>Media contact:</strong> Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>April 6, 2017</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>Army ROTC 4 Year High School National Scholarship opens 12 June 2016, 08 Jun 2016 10:04:32<p>The website for the class of 2017 high school seniors to apply for an Army ROTC 4 Year National High School Scholarship will open on 12 June 16. &nbsp;If you are or know of a great high school senior who would be interested in applying for one of these scholarships please refer them to our information page about the scholarship and its application process. &nbsp;It can be found at the link below.</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p>If they would like to start an application please refer them to the link below:</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p>For quistions or additional information please call (509) 963-3520 or e-mail us at</p>Governor Inslee Names Joey Knight CWU Student Trustee, 02 Jun 2016 13:08:44<p>Governor Jay Inslee has named Joey Knight student trustee at Central Washington University for the 2016-17 academic year.</p><p>Knight, who will be a senior during his term, is majoring in political science. He is a 2013 graduate of Olympia High School and a member of the U.S. Army ROTC program at Central.</p><p>"Joey Knight is a great addition Central Washington University Board of Trustees," Inslee said. "He has already shown dedication to serving his community and will bring an important student voice to the board which will help address challenges in higher education.”</p><p>“I’m incredibly honored and blessed to have the ability to serve in this distinguished position,” the 21-year-old Knight said. “Central Washington University is truly a remarkable institution and it’ll be my pleasure to advocate for student supported positions during the discussions among the Board of Trustees.”</p><p>Knight said he wants to “hit the ground running” at the start of his term. To that end, he has already reached out to CWU President James L. Gaudino to schedule a meeting for the two to discuss current university issues.</p><p>He also plans to set up meetings with other university staff and officials who frequently interact with the student trustee in order “to pick their brains and gather feedback from their perspectives of my new position and duties.”</p><p>Knight said his priorities as student trustee would be to strengthen the school’s student retention efforts, boost professional career development opportunities for students, and encouraging the university to take a more active role in recognizing and rewarding superior student performance.</p><p>“This position is an incredible way for me to be able to serve the university and student body by formulating student feedback and perspectives into a concise yet comprehensive strategy for guaranteeing that the students’ opinions are heard,” he said.</p><p>As for his future after graduation, Knight said he will begin a career in the U.S. Army after receiving his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. His hope is that he will be assigned to serve as an Army aviator.</p><p>“Even from a young age, I’ve always been fascinated by flight,” Knight explained. “The amazing opportunity given to me by CWU’s Army ROTC program has afforded me the chance to combine my desire to become a pilot with my passion to serve our country.”</p><p>All of the state’s six public baccalaureate institutions have a student seat on its governing bodies. The student trustees serve one-year terms and are full voting members on all issues except matters relating to hiring or discipline of personnel, tenure of faculty, and collective bargaining agreements. Knight’s term will end on June 30, 2017.</p><p>In addition to naming Knight to the board of trustees, Inslee also appointed CWU student Jessica Murillo-Rosales to serve as the 2016-2017 student representative on the Washington State Achievement Council.</p><p>Murillo-Rosales will graduate in June from Central with a degree in sociology and a minor in women and gender studies. She will return to CWU in the fall to begin work on her master’s degree in education, higher education. Her term will last from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.</p><p>Both Knight and Murillo-Rosales were among a list of five nominees for student trustee submitted by CWU to the governor. It was the first time two CWU students have been selected for the two positions at the same time.</p><p>Media contact: Richard Moreno, Director of Content Development, 509-963-2714,</p><p>June 2, 2016</p>Veteran Memorial Coming soon to CWU, 08 Feb 2016 10:44:48<p>A memorial to honor American Veterans will soon be erected on CWU's Ellensburg campus. &nbsp;The initiative was spearheaded by the Associates Students of Central Washington University Board of Directors (ASCWU-BOD). &nbsp;For more information on the memorial and its progress please read the Observer Article below.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"></span></p></span style="line-height: 1.4;">