Cyclone Battalion at ISU named best Army ROTC program in Midwestern brigade

AMES, Iowa -- The Cyclone Army ROTC Battalion at Iowa State University has been named the top program in the 3rd Brigade. The award is based on overall training performance and success at the annual Leadership Development and Assessment Course (LDAC), and commissioning excellence. The 3rd Brigade is based at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois, and includes Army ROTC programs at more than 40 schools in the Midwest.

In addition, the battalion earned the top award for leadership Excellence during the LDAC for having the most cadets who finished at the top of the leadership class. And they won the Commissioning Excellence Award for commissioning the highest number of cadets who are in the top 20 percent of all 5,700 cadets on the national order-of-merit list. The ranking is based on military and extracurricular activities, as well as grade point average.

"The performance of the students in this battalion is nothing less than remarkable," said Major Rick Smith, professor of military science. "This program consistently ranks as one of the top programs in our region, which includes 40 schools and 11 states. These students are leaders of character, agile and adaptive thinkers who strive for excellence. They are true leaders, athletes and scholars who represent the best the university has to offer our nation and our Army."

LDAC -- also known as Operation Warrior Forge -- is the most important training event for an Army ROTC cadet or National Guard officer candidate. The 29-day capstone course at Fort Lewis, Wash., incorporates a range of subjects designed to develop and evaluate leadership ability -- physical fitness, weapons training, communication and other military skills such as combat water survival training and land navigation courses.

The Cyclone Battalion includes 135 cadets from Iowa State, Drake University and Grand View University in Des Moines, and Buena Vista University in Storm Lake.