The “Pride of PA” Battalion, the local Army ROTC program consisting of cadets from Mercyhurst University, Gannon University and Penn State-The Behrend College, was recently honored with the General Douglas MacArthur Award for 2012.
Selected by the U.S. Army Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation based on the criteria of military performance, academics and administrative support, this is the first time the Erie area battalion has received this competitive award — an honor only eight out of 273 senior ROTC programs nationwide receive.
“We felt immense pride for the cadets at each of the three schools,” said Lt. Col. Bradley D. Nadig, professor of military science and commander of the “Pride of PA” Battalion. “We see how hard they work every day, from academics to athletics, extracurricular activities and ROTC events. I speak for myself and all of the previous ‘Pride of PA’ Battalion commanders when I say we are very happy and proud of these cadets and their universities.”
Of the 42 schools in the Second Brigade, the “Pride of PA” Battalion was up against some of the most prestigious institutions and conferences within the United States, such as Harvard and Princeton.
“When first arriving here, I shared with the cadets about how they have a great motto — the 'Pride of PA,'” said Nadig. “When they received this award, they really lived up to the battalion’s motto. These students will definitely make the U.S. Army a better place. They are all very special and will do great things for this country.”
The northeastern region commissions approximately 700 officers each year — the highest number among the eight ROTC regions. The “Pride of PA” Battalion, which consists of 95 cadets, will graduate 13 this year: six from Mercyhurst, four from Behrend and three from Gannon.
The top three cadets at Mercyhurst University are in the applied intelligence program under professor James Breckenridge, Ph.D., and will graduate as Distinguished Military Graduates for placing in the top 20th percentile of senior ROTC units in the country. The three Distinguished Military Graduates are Lindsey Bostwick (top 14 percent), Matt Terrigno (top 16 percent) and Adam King (top 19 percent). Cameron Kunkel (sports medicine), Alyssa Ciehanoski (intelligence studies) and Dillon Lynch (intelligence studies) will also be commissioned as officers when they graduate in May.