OXFORD, Ohio – The Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) Unit at Miami University has been awarded a prestigious Department of Defense ROTC Excellence Award.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in letters to Miami President Greg Crawford and Capt. Todd Bahlau, commanding officer of the NROTC unit, that the award makes its debut this year, recognizing the outstanding ROTC unit and host educational institution for each military department. The military departments determined winners based on accomplishments in three broad categories: performance, educational institution support and other noteworthy achievements.
Miami’s NROTC unit was recognized for exceptional performance during the 2018-2019 academic year. Noteworthy training and civic duty gained the unit, the Navy, the Marine Corps “and the military community as a whole, great public notoriety and make it truly deserving of this recognition,” Esper wrote.
“To be recognized as the Navy recipient of this inaugural award is a testament of the tremendous caliber of our midshipmen. It justifies all of the hard work we’ve put into our culture of academic, aptitude and fitness excellence,” said Bahlau. “When we receive an honor such as this, it also reflects the incredible support we receive from Miami University. Together we are committed to producing world-class future Navy and Marine Corps officers. My unit and Miami University has much to be proud of.”
“We are deeply honored that the Miami University Naval ROTC unit has earned the inaugural Department of Defense ROTC Partnership Excellence Award,” said Dr. Gregory Crawford, president of Miami University. “We treasure our partnerships with Miami’s ROTC units – they bring leadership, diversity, inspiration and excellence to campus. This award is recognition and a testament to their strong leadership, willingness to serve and sacrifice, and the value they bring to Miami University – we are proud to be their partner.”
Esper said the Department of Defense wanted to honor the unit with a formal presentation in person, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prohibited it this year.
“Let it not diminish the prestige of this award within the Department and the gratitude we have for your midshipmen, your university, your faculty, and the students who make our partnership so strong,” Esper wrote. “Your outstanding support is crucial to the education and training of the finest military leaders in the world...”
The personnel of NROTC Unit, Miami University consistently demonstrated unparalleled success in partnering with its host institution. “During this time, the NROTC Unit, Miami University provided outstanding development to the midshipmen charged to their care, enriched the Miami University campus life and served local communities,” Esper wrote. The letter noted participation in numerous cross-cultural events, such as national drill competitions, veterans’ conferences, military leadership symposiums and Navy community familiarization events.
Notable achievements included 100 percent fill for the nuclear power service assignment quota, a 100 percent Marine Corps option Officer Candidate School graduation rate, a 100 percent pass rate for both the physical readiness and fitness tests, and 55 national and local awards earned by midshipmen.
The unit further enhanced the university partnership in other ways, including conducting a two-day leadership development course for Miami’s basketball team, providing marshal and color guard support to commencement ceremonies and participating in the unveiling of Miami’s Alumni Veterans Tribute dedicated on Veterans Day in 2018.
The NROTC program is overseen by Rear Adm. Jamie Sands and his Naval Service Training Command (NSTC) staff at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. NROTC was established to develop midshipmen mentally, morally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, loyalty and core values in order to commission college graduates as Navy and Marine Corps officers who possess a basic professional background, are motivated toward careers in the uniformed services, and have a potential for future development in mind and character so as to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC also includes Recruit Training Command (RTC), the Navy's only boot camp also at Naval Station Great Lakes, the Navy ROTC program at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command (OTC) Newport, Rhode Island, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.
MCC Byron C. Linder, Naval Service Training Command, firstname.lastname@example.org