For the third time in the past four years, the Army ROTC unit at Virginia Military Institute has been named as one of eight winners of the prestigious MacArthur Award.
The awards have been presented annually since 1989 by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation. They recognize the ideals of duty, honor and country as advocated by MacArthur, one of only five men in modern times to rise to the rank of general of the Army.
The MacArthur award is based on a combination of the achievement of the school’s commissioning mission, its cadets’ performance and standing on the command’s national Order of Merit List, and its cadet retention rate.
“[The MacArthur Award] is meant to recognize excellence,” said Col. Michael Wawrzyniak, professor of military science with Army ROTC. “We’ve been recognized as the top program in our brigade.”
The VMI unit represents the U.S. Army Cadet Command’s 1st Brigade, which consists of the nation’s six senior military colleges and five of the junior military colleges.
The 2018 cohort produced 140 second lieutenants, “which is by far the highest in the country,” Wawrzyniak said. He explained that there are 274 schools across the nation offering Army ROTC, making the competition for the highest number of commissions especially fierce.
What’s more, the 2018 cohort also produced 47 Distinguished Military Graduates. “That was as high as we’ve ever had,” said Wawrzyniak. ROTC cadets from across the nation ranking in the top 20 percent on the Order of Merit list are named Distinguished Military Graduates.
Army ROTC is the largest ROTC program at VMI, providing military instruction to about two-thirds of the Corps of Cadets.
VMI’s Army ROTC also won the MacArthur Award in 2015 and 2016.
Mary Price VMI Communications & Marketing