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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA Army ROTC wins brigade award


Col. Jason Halloren (left), the 5th Brigade commander, and Command Sgt. Major of the 5th Brigade ROTC units, Roderick Hodo (right) present Lt. Col. Dale Barnett (center) of the Wildcat Cadre with the Cochise Award at Joint Base Sam Houston in San Antonio.

The UA Army ROTC program was awarded the Cochise Award for the 2015-2016 academic year at Joint Base Sam Houston in San Antonio,Texas at the 5th Brigade’s annual training conference earlier this month. 

The award was bestowed to the Wildcat Battalion for being the best medium-sized battalion in the 5th Brigade, which covers much of the southwestern United States.

This is the first time the UA’s Army ROTC has won the award in its 126-year history.

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“It’s a great representation of our program, of our cadre and of our cadets, and it reflects on the quality of officers that we produce for the U.S. Army,” said Lt. Col. Dale Barnett, the Wildcat Battalion’s Commanding Officer. 

Barnett, who accepted the award at the conference, went into further detail of the achievements made by the Wildcat Battalion.

“We were assigned a mission to commission at least 19 second lieutenants into the U.S. Army.” Barnett said. “We exceeded that mission and were able to commission 22.”

Criteria for being the best battalion includes achieving the desired number of office commissions, having higher percentages of cadets who pursue STEM degrees and optimal Outcomes Metrics Scores. The Wildcat Battalion competed for the award against units from 24 other universities from eight different states.

According to Barnett, 18 percent of the battalion is majoring in a STEM subject, has an average GPA of 3.4 and OMS scores in the top five of the 25 units in the brigade.

Second Lt. Regina Ebell played a crucial role in helping to secure the battalion’s award.

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Ebell is a Tucson native who is now stationed at Fort Hood, Texas with the 11th Signal Brigade, she won multiple awards including having the highest physical fitness scores in the Signal Corps and first place in the Fort Gordon Army 10-Miler race. 

Ebell was also nominated and awarded the Kilbourne Award for Leadership, which is awarded to the second lieutenant in each course who demonstrates excellence in leadership and strong potential for service in the U.S. Army.

Two other cadets in the class of 2015-2016 were distinguished military graduates ranked in the top 10 percent of the nation. All of the cadets who helped contribute to the award are now commissioned in the Army. 

The Wildcat Battalion has plans to win this prestigious award in the future. 

“We wish to uphold this form of excellence in the years to come by producing great officers for the U.S. Army,” Barnett said. “We hope to take the award home again next January.”

Follow Jordan Treece on Twitter.

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