U.S. Army ranks three ROTC cadets among best in nation
A University of North Dakota Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet is one of the top three senior cadets in the nation, according to the U.S. Army Cadet Command in Ft. Knox, Ky.
Andrew Petefish of Stillwater, Minn., is listed third on the Order of Merit List which ranks more than 5,600 senior ROTC cadets from across the nation. Two other UND ROTC cadets were ranked among the top 100. Daniel Barbian of Rhinelander, Wis., ranked 12th and Jason Anderson of Lakeville, Minn., was 66th.
The list ranks all Army ROTC seniors across the nation, with the top 20 percent earning the designation of Distinguished Military Graduates. Overall, UND had seven cadets ranked in the top one thousand.
"I have to give all the credit to the cadets," said Lt. Col. Josh Sauls, professor of military science and commander of UND's Fighting Sioux Battalion. "We just point them in the right direction."
Positioning on the list determines the priority of being chosen for a limited number of active-duty positions in the Army. It also improves the cadets' chances for getting into the occupational specialty of their choice.
Sauls said that being highly ranked in the OML determines a cadet's career future in the Army.
"This decides if they get a commission, and it will ultimately decide what job they do," he explained.
Within the 3rd ROTC Brigade which includes 72 schools in a region stretching from Illinois to the Dakotas to Kansas, Petefish, Barbian and Anderson ranked first, third and eleventh respectively from among more than 700 senior cadets. Forty percent of the score is based on academics.
Sauls said that the high ranking achieved by UND's cadets demonstrates their commitment and character.
"It says that they're some of the best in the nation," he pointed out. "They went out and showed that they've been working hard. They have good grades, they're physically fit, and they've demonstrated tremendous leadership skills. It just shows how hard they're willing to work and how dedicated they are."
During the summer, senior ROTC cadets from throughout the U.S. were rated at the five-week Leader Development and Assessment Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord outside of Tacoma, Wash.
"They have to score high in the Army physical fitness test, which includes a two-mile run," Sauls said. "They also have to be proficient in leading other cadets in stressful situations and in tactical field environments."