Four-star general who leads U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command will visit campus to deliver honor next week

Norwich University is the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps’ birthplace, and next month, the university’s U.S. Army ROTC program will formally receive its second major performance award for 2020.

In April, Norwich’s U.S. Army ROTC received the 2020 Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award for the Cadet Command’s 1st Brigade. In July, Norwich’s U.S. Army ROTC Pioneer Battalion received the Defense Department ROTC and Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award. The Excellence Award recognizes exceptional performance in the 2019-20 academic year and standing out among the 496 U.S. colleges and universities that host ROTC units.

U.S. Army Gen. Paul E. Funk II will visit Norwich’s campus Oct. 19 to present the Excellence Award to Norwich University President Mark Anarumo and U.S. Army Col. Joel Newsom, the College of National Service’s dean. Funk is the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s 17th commanding general, responsible for 32 Army schools organized under eight Centers of Excellence that recruit, train and educate more than 500,000 soldiers and service members annually.

The Defense Department award, which debuted in 2019, is based on accomplishments in program performance, educational institution support and other noteworthy achievements. In a letter to Anarumo, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III noted that in 2020, the Norwich University Army ROTC Pioneer Battalion surpassed its recruiting goal of 90 by commissioning 106 leaders: 71 active-duty lieutenants, 26 Guard members and nine U.S. Army reservists. 

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U.S. Army Gen. Paul E. Funk II speaks Sept. 10, 2019, at the Maneuver Warfighter Conference at Fort Benning, Georgia. Funk will be on campus next week to deliver an award for Norwich University’s U.S. Army ROTC from the Defense Department. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army.)

The group, the letter said, included 20 distinguished military graduates with seven in the top 10% nationally.

“The battalion dependably boasts a 75% freshman retention rate, commissions 68% of its sophomores, and maintains an average Order of Merit Score of 53,” the letter said.

The Order of Merit List considers grade-point averages, physical training scores and service in leadership positions to rank cadets for postgraduation and postcommissioning branch assignments.

ROTC scholarship recipients receive an additional $15,000 from Norwich University for annual room and board. From 2019-20, Norwich University awarded 227 scholarships from its endowments, valued at nearly $5 million, the letter said. In a video, Anarumo announced the Defense Department award with Newsom and said the financial bolsters reflect the Norwich community’s efforts to ensure student success. 

“Equally as important as our scholarship support,” Anarumo said, “(is) that our students are provided an outstanding high impact program for real-world experiences such as domestic and international study and internship programs, at no additional cost above normal tuition.”

The letter also noted the Pioneer Battalion’s community connection, including hosting 150 central Vermont Boy Scouts to teach fieldcraft and hosting Vermont sixth graders to discuss soldier tasks, physical fitness and pathways to success. The Norwich Artillery Battery helped mark Veterans Day by firing howitzers and arranging a flyover from the U.S. Army’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Drum, New York.

MacArthur Award

When it won the MacArthur Award earlier this year, Norwich led the Cadet Command’s 1st Brigade, which is headquartered at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and comprises all Army Senior Military Colleges and Military Junior Colleges.

(The Senior Military Colleges are Norwich, the University of North Georgia, The Citadel, Texas A&M University, Virginia Military Institute and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University; the four Military Junior Colleges are Marion Military Institute, Georgia Military College, New Mexico Military Institute and Valley Forge Military Academy & College.)

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College of National Service Dean Joel Newsom, a U.S. Army colonel, speaks in August at a welcome dinner for incoming ROTC students at Plumley Armory. (Photo by Mark Collier/Norwich University.)

The MacArthur Awards, announced April 15 and presented since 1989 by the Cadet Command and the nonprofit Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation, recognize the ideals of “duty, honor and country” that MacArthur (1880-1964), advocated as Army chief of staff in the 1930s and in his Pacific theater service during World War II.

The Army said the foundation and Cadet Command consider colleges’ commissioning missions, cadet performance, cadet retention rate and standing on the national Order of Merit List when determining honorees. 

“The collective success of this program is tied directly to all of the individual accomplishments of all of you seated here,” Newsom said in May, when he announced the MacArthur Award during the U.S. Army Commissioning ceremony on Sabine Field. “And I congratulate you on a job well done.”

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