Army ROTC Program at University of Virginia Rated Among Nation's Best

April 30, 2008 — The Army ROTC program at the University of Virginia has been rated in the top 15 percent of the 273 units around the country for the seventh consecutive year.

"This achievement … exemplifies the hard work and dedication of the University of Virginia cadets and cadre staff," said Maj. General W. Montague Winfield, who commands ROTC programs nationwide. "This achievement provides a superb reflection of the support the University of Virginia provides to the Army ROTC program."

The Army program has 87 cadets at U.Va., 11 of whom will be graduating this year. U.Va's program also has another 77 cadets from Liberty University in Lynchburg and one from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

"Everything the University does is good for our program," said Lt. Col. Jay Dymek, commander of the Army ROTC at U.Va. "It graduates students in four years, it attracts people who are inclined to serve their country, and it attracts athletes, scholars and leaders."

Dymek said many students who come from Northern Virginia are familiar with government work and are very "service-oriented."

Dymek also praised his instructors and staff, noting that one is teaching while recuperating from war wounds and another was soldier of the year in 2006.

The current Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps detachment was established at the University on April 5, 1948 at the request of then-University President Colgate W. Darden Jr. The detachment was originally affiliated with the Transportation Corps, and the cadets attended summer camp at the Army Transportation Center at Ft. Eustis, Va. Later, the detachment was affiliated for a brief time with the Medical Service Corps and the Signal Corps. In 1965 the Cavalier Battalion was designated a general military subjects ROTC unit.

Many of the first U.Va. cadets were veterans of World War II. Later, they served as officers in the Korean War. A great number of graduates from the U.Va. Army ROTC also served in Vietnam. Of the 64 graduates from the U.Va. Army ROTC classes of 2001 through 2005, 44 have served or are currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Most of the graduates of the class of 2007 have completed their officer training.