CWUArmy NewsArmy News cadets climb cliff to complete contracts, 05 Oct 2017 16:06:52<p><br><img alt="2017 CWU Army ROTC Oath of Enlistment ceremony on Manastash Ridge" src="/army/sites/" style="width: 450px; margin: 3px; float: right; height: 270px;"><a href="">A dramatic sunrise</a> was the backdrop for 15 United States Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) students from CWU who took the Oath of Enlistment this morning, during a ceremony atop Manastash Ridge.<br><br>The oath was administered by Colonel Jon Tussing, the commander of the US Army Cadet Command’s 8th Brigade, headquartered at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma. This is the second consecutive year he has participated in Central's&nbsp;contract-signing ceremony.<br><br>“This was something that made an impact on me, the way the program does it here,” acknowledged Tussing. “I shared it with all the other programs and the commander of cadet command. There are similar events and a lot of different ways that you can do this ceremony, but the way they highlight it here at Central is very special and significant. It was great that I was able to be out here and see this and be a part of it.”<br><br>During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Jonathan Ackiss, the CWU battalion commander, told those taking the oath, and their fellow cadet sponsors, that this will be a day they will long remember.</p><p>“Sometimes, we have to measure success in smiles,” added Ackiss, “and to see you coming together as a team and smiling today means we’re doing something right.”<br><br>All of the participating cadets, along with Tussing, Ackiss, and the other CWU detachment officers, made the steep two-mile hike for the sunrise ceremony, to the top of the ridge at a memorial point, about 2,800 feet in elevation.<br><br>“This hike was really just an embodiment of our battalion’s spirit—it’s a part of our identity,” pointed out Justin Lester, from Chewelah, who was among those completing a cadet contract today. “When we become officers, we have to set a standard for our soldiers. Part of that is creating an environment that we can all foster into a family&nbsp;because that’s how we can operate to the best of our abilities.”<br><br>While enrolling in the Army ROTC Basic Course does not involve a military commitment, the ceremony was for the formal induction of the Army ROTC students into the program. It will include a scholarship for the students in exchange for an agreement to complete a service term with the Army.<br><br>“Contracting is a lot of weight, but it’s liberating at the same time,” Lester continued. “It’s being a part of the family.”<br><br>The CWU Army ROTC program, called the “Wildcat Battalion,” in honor of the university's mascot, has been nationally ranked in recent years. It is among 30 Army ROTC 8th brigade programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam, and 275 across the United States.<br><br><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br>CWU represented among US military personnel training in Mongolia, 01 Sep 2017 09:28:10<p><img alt="CWU Army ROTC detachment commander, Lt. Col. Jonathan Ackiss involved in leadership engagement activity in Mongolia" src="/army/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; margin: 3px; float: right;">When it comes to, “How I spent my summer vacation,” it would be pretty hard to top Lt. Col. Jonathan Ackiss’ experience.</p><p>The CWU Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) detachment commander traveled about 5,200 miles to Mongolia, where he led 31 nationally-selected ROTC cadets, from as far away as Guam and Washington D.C., and four other officers in a joint training operation.</p><p>Ackiss was chosen for the role by <a href="">Army ROTC 8th brigade</a> officials at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Tacoma.</p><p>“The 8th brigade was involved in three missions this year: Mongolia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia,” Ackiss said. “I was assigned to Mongolia after I served as the executive officer last year. That meant I went through the planning process and helped design the mission for the cadets, but did not travel with them.”</p><p>Ackiss made his first ever visit to Mongolia in February when he designed and set up the mission ahead of the exercise, which took place in June and July.</p><p>“It was definitely a different culture, a different way of life, different financial considerations, for sure,” Ackiss acknowledged, adding that the training helped to “reinforce the importance of having globally aware [US] officers. The sooner you start that, the better they’re going to be.</p><p>“The majority of the cadets on the mission were sophomores,” he continued. “So, it will shape how they see the world, and how they see their training and help them refocus on what it means to be an Army officer operating in a global setting.”</p><p>Conversely, members of the 10,000-member Mongolian army were looking to get insight and instruction in English and American culture, Ackiss said.</p><p>“They wanted less formal classroom training and more small-group interactions,” Ackiss explained. “So, we partnered one or two cadets with two or three Mongolians to ‘just talk.’ This was the fourth year that the cadets have gone there, and they [the Mongolians] look forward to it. They realize that they benefit from and appreciate the relationship they’ve developed with the Americans.”</p><p>Despite the fact that Ackiss will, likely, not have the chance to again work with any of the cadets he led in Mongolia, they will take some of what they learned from him back to their respective units.</p><p>“I will always see them as my cadets,” Ackiss said. “I think I take for granted the culture that we have here at Central, how we treat our cadets and how we treat our people. I’ve received some very nice follow-up emails from the cadets, saying that what they received from me in a very short (30-day) period of time is going to have a long-term impact. But, if you don’t take advantage of the ability to have some ‘ownership’ of a young person, you’re really missing an opportunity.”</p><p>Ackiss says the interaction he had also validated that he, and other members of the CWU leadership cadre, are doing things right with the Wildcat Battalion.</p><p>“We’re trying to look forward and do some unique things, and fill training or technical gaps with our cadets,” he added.</p><p>This year, about 30 freshmen and about 75 cadets total will participate in CWU’s ROTC program, while taking military science classes, in the department’s new home in the remodeled Lind Hall.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p><p><strong>Photo:</strong> CWU Army ROTC detachment commander, Lt. Col. Jonathan Ackiss (third from left) involved in a leadership engagement activity in Mongolia.</p>Military helicopter transports CWU Army ROTC students, 18 May 2017 17:10:02<p><img alt="" src="/army/sites/" style="width: 400px; margin: 3px; height: 267px; float: right;">A Boeing CH-47 helicopter landed at Bowers Field, in Ellensburg, this afternoon to transport Central Washington University Army ROTC cadets to their spring field exercise at the Yakima Training Center.</p><p>“It was about an hour-long process from start to finish,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ackiss, CWU Army ROTC detachment commander and military science professor, about the precision landing, loading, and take-off procedure. “This is just another way for us to provide our cadets with as realistic training as possible, to help prepare them for actual Army operations.”</p><p>The Washington National Guard whirlybird came from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, near Tacoma.</p><p>“We’re fortunate to have a good relationship with the National Guard,” Ackiss said, noting his thanks to the National Guard for its assistance. “It was also a thrill for our cadets to get to fly in the helicopter, as it was the first time [doing so] for most of them.”&nbsp;</p><p>In two shifts, the chopper took about 60 participating cadets to a drop-off location near the Columbia River. Over the course of the next three days, the cadets will march to a site near I-90 before returning to campus.</p><p>“They’ll be conducting patrols, and practicing other maneuvers, through Sunday,” Ackiss explained about the twice-a-year training. “And they will bivouac [camp] out under the stars.”</p><p>The twin-engine Chinook helicopter is primarily used for troop and artillery movement, along with resupply undertakings. Despite debuting in 1961, they remain among the heaviest lifting and fastest models in the United States’s military arsenal.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>May 18, 2017</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="/army/sites/" style="width: 400px; height: 600px;"></p>Program Coordinator Sigrid Welker Honored, 15 May 2017 14:07:15<p>We are happy to announce that Mrs. Sigrid Welker who serves as the CWU Army ROTC Program Coordinator was honored as "Outstanding Staff" at the CWU College of Education and Professional Studies End-of-Year Celebration.</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>The Wildcat Battalion Winter 2017 Newsletter is out!!!, 12 Jan 2017 10:21:24<p>The Winter 2017 Wildcat Battalion Newsletter is out. Follow the link below to get up to speed on the latest happenings with CWU Army ROTC.</p><p></p>The Wildcat Battalion Winter 2017 Newsletter is out!!!, 12 Jan 2017 10:21:22<p>The Winter 2017 Wildcat Battalion Newsletter is out. Follow the link below to get up to speed on the latest happenings with CWU Army ROTC.</p><p></p>CWU Army ROTC cadets to show what they know at Yakima Training Center, 17 Nov 2016 16:39:38<p><img alt="" src="/army/sites/" style="width: 375px; height: 226px; border-width: 3px; border-style: solid; margin: 3px; float: right;">Nearly 90 Central Washington University’s Army ROTC cadets will visit the Yakima Training Center (YTC) Friday through Sunday, to demonstrate the competencies they’re developed and concepts they’re conquered through their studies with the university’s award-winning military science program.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>“It’s about tying together all they things they’re been learning and doing on campus,” explained Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Ackiss, CWU military science professor.&nbsp; “They’re the core competencies that are the foundational skills needed to build on for when they’re in the operational Army.”&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>It’s one of the twice-annual, field-training exercises for the cadets, who will be being members of either the freshman-sophomore, or junior-senior contingents. Developing and demonstrating skills in daytime and nighttime land navigation, communications, medical basics, and tactics will comprise much of the weekend’s work.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>On Saturday, the freshman and sophomores will spend about half-a-day with the medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) aviation unit.<br>&nbsp;<br>“They’ll transition into how to load causalities into a helicopter,” said Ackiss, who leads the Wildcat Battalion. “We call it hot-load and cold-load training. So, they’ll do it without the helicopter operating and then with it running. It will, probably, be the first experience for a lot of them to get close to a Blackhawk [helicopter] when the blades are spinning.”&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>While this will be the first field training for the large, 27-member ROTC freshman class, the stakes are somewhat higher for the 20 juniors now in the program.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>“For them, it’s definitely a test,” Ackiss pointed out. “The junior year is crucial in that it is when they’re getting their final assessments. Based on their performances during their junior years, it will determine if they become active duty or reserve, and whether they get their top choices of the 17 career fields the Army offers. Their performances this weekend will definitely link to their ratings.”<br>&nbsp;<br>The proximity of the world-class, 327,000-acre YTC within close proximity to the CWU campus allow for the cadets to experience much more life-like training, as a way to ensure they are properly prepared for exactly what they may soon experience.<br>&nbsp;<br>“The terrain is much more open and it replicates the Afghanistan environment very well—not in an urban but definitely in a rural context,” Ackiss pointed out. “It eliminates the distractions of traffic, buildings, and other people walking around. We can’t replicate it here on campus.”&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>The training will also include an opposition force.<br>&nbsp;<br>“We’re also taking about 15 [CWU] Air Force ROTC cadets,” Ackiss pointed out. “They’ll serve in the ‘bad guy’ role during our tactical training.”<br>&nbsp;<br>Through offering such top-quality training, the CWU Army ROTC program has consistently produced distinguished military graduates, been nationally ranked—including winning the prestigious MacArthur Award for Best Medium Battalion—and as the "Most Outstanding" Battalion among 273 units nationwide.<br>&nbsp;<br>CWU Army ROTC unit is among 31 programs encompassing the 8th Brigade, which includes Washington, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Guam.<br>&nbsp;<br><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, director of radio services and integrated communications, 509-963-1487,<br>&nbsp;<br>November 17, 2016</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></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>