Student
    Six members of The University of Scranton’s ROTC class of 2023 earned Distinguished Military Graduate status by the U.S. Army, which designates placement in the top 20 percent of Army ROTC graduates in the nation. First row, from left: Saran Kern, Josephine Middleton and Emma Coar. Second row: Steven Gasperini, Declan Maurer and Zachary Turnitz.

    Scranton Cadets Earn Distinguished Military Status

    Six members of The University of Scranton’s ROTC class of 2023 earned Distinguished Military Graduate status by the U.S. Army, which designates placement in the top 20 percent of Army ROTC graduates in the nation. First row, from left: Saran Kern, Josephine Middleton and Emma Coar. Second row: Steven Gasperini, Declan Maurer and Zachary Turnitz.
    November 9, 2022

    Six members of The University of Scranton’s ROTC class of 2023 have earned Distinguished Military Graduate status by the U.S. Army, which designates placement in the top 20 percent of Army ROTC graduates in the nation for this academic year. Their distinction is based on their placement in the Order of Merit List, which ranks graduating ROTC cadets from across the country. The designation requires a superior grade-point average, strong performance in the Army Combat Fitness Test, and proven experience as an exceptional leader in college ROTC training.

    “These cadets represent the next generation of our military leaders. They are ambitious, talented, intelligent and enthusiastic. The future of the U.S. Army is in good hands,” said Lt. Col. Jason Wenger, professor of military science who heads Scranton’s Army ROTC battalion. “Scranton’s ROTC program continually places in the top 25 percent in the country because of cadets like these.”

    One Scranton cadet, Emma Coar of Dunmore, placed No. 9 in the nation on the Order of Merit list.

    “Emma is an exceptional leader and excellent at planning and organization. She continually looks for opportunities to learn and improve herself even more. She has studied foreign languages and has taken on duties as battalion operations officer, which is one of the most competitive leadership positions in our program,” said Lt. Col. Wenger of Coar, who is majoring international studies.

    Coar’s classmates who were also named as Distinguished Military Graduates are: Steven Gasperini, an international studies major from Denville, New Jersey; Sarah Kern, a nursing major from Monroe, New York; Declan Maurer, an accounting major and member of the University’s Frank P. Corcione Business Honors Program from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Josephine Middleton, a biology major from Sugarloaf, and Zachary Turnitza, a nursing major from Cumbola.

    Together, the group of six Distinguished Military Graduates know nine languages, including Mandarin Chinese, Arabic and Russian. They have won military awards and participated in ROTC enrichment programs, in addition to maintaining stellar G.P.A.s in their academic courses at Scranton. Each cadet is a Dean’s List student at Scranton.

    “Scranton’s ROTC program is smaller, which has given us greater opportunities to participate in the leadership and development initiatives available to cadets,” said Middleton. “All six of us have had military (ROTC) internships.”

    In fact, together, the group of six have had a total of 16 internships:

    Coar: (3) Cadet Troop Leadership Training, Joint Base Lewis McCord, Washington; Cadet Summer Training 2022; U.S. Army Airborne School;

    Gasperini: (3) Cadet Troop Leadership Training, Joint Base Lewis McCord; Cadet Summer Training 2022; US Army Air Assault School;

    Kern: (2) Nurse Summer Training Program- Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii; Cadet Summer Training 2022;

    Maurer: (3) Cadet Troop Leadership Training, Fort Sill; Opposition Forces Support, Cadet Summer Training 2021; Cadet Summer Training 2022;

    Middleton: (2) Army Medical at Joint Base Lewis McCord; Cadet Summer Training 2022;

    Turnitza: (3) Nurse Summer Training Program- Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii; Cadet Summer Training 2022; US Army Air Assault School.

    Through these internships, the students not only gained experience in different aspects of military service and enhanced their leadership skills, but they also gained experience in their chosen professions. Nursing majors Kern and Turnitza and Middleton, who will pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, gained clinical experiences in military hospital environments that are not common in traditional rotations.

    And, there are other benefits of the ROTC program. Maurer credits the fitness regimen for his loss of 60 pounds in his three years of college.

    “The ROTC program has developed my communication skills, not only in public speaking or in leading a group of cadets, but also with the more difficult conversations I will have to have with patients as a nurse,” said Turnitza.

    “I learned that there is much more to being a leader in the Army than what is shown rallying troops to battle in the movies,” said Gasperini. “There are a lot of different leaderships styles in the military and all are needed. The amalgamation of the different leaders is what makes us strong.”

    Additional information about the impressive accomplishments of Scranton’s ROTC class of 2023 Distinguished Military Graduates can be seen here.

    But, you had better put on some shades before reading. As you’ll see, the future of the U.S. Army is bright.

     

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