Posted 8:42 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, 2021

The ROTC Eagle Battalion has been named the Best ROTC Battalion in the Midwest’s 3rd Brigade. The region includes 42 military science programs in all sizes of colleges in 10 Midwestern states. In February, the battalion won the Northern Warfare Challenge, a growing competition of endurance.

UW-La Crosse’s Eagle Battalion tops in region

Those looking for one of the best ROTC programs in the country should look no further than UW-La Crosse.

The ROTC Eagle Battalion has been named the Best ROTC Battalion in the Midwest’s 3rd Brigade. The region includes 42 military science programs in all sizes of colleges in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

The MacArthur Award citation paves the way for the battalion to compete for the prestigious Department of Defense Excellence in Education Award, which recognizes the best ROTC program in the country’s seven brigades. That announcement is expected shortly after Jan. 1.

The UW-La Crosse Eagle Battalion has been named the Best ROTC Battalion in the Midwest. Among the successes of the 70-plus students in the battalion are strong grade point averages, physical training scores, competitive summer training and community service.

“With no category sizing of sizes of institutions, the title of ‘best’ is no small achievement,” says Lt. Col. Erik Archer, chair of the UWL Military Science Department.

“I think we have a good shot at reaching the MacArthur title.”

Archer attributes the Eagle Battalion’s success to its 70-plus students who have strong grade point averages and physical training scores, along with competitive summer training and community service. He says the honor belongs to the students who create a culture and sense of family along with talented instructors in military science.

“I could not be prouder of these students who, in addition to their coursework, also balance leadership rotations, morning physical training, volunteer opportunities in the community and leadership roles in other campus organizations,” says Archer. “This is a tremendous accomplishment.”

Archer says support from faculty administrators is key. Along with UWL, the Eagle Battalion includes students from Viterbo University and Winona State University.

This isn’t the first honor for the Eagle Battalion, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021-22. Instructor Sgt. 1st Class JoAnn Wampole-Swanson was named the Wisconsin Military Science Instructor of the Year and the Midwest Brigade’s Instructor of the Year earlier this year. And, the battalion won the Northern Warfare Challenge in February