Two Liberty University administrators and one staff member traded classrooms and offices for camouflage and combat boots earlier this month as they took part in the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course (LTC) at Fort Knox, Ky.
LTC, a program aimed at motivating and qualifying college students for entry into the Senior ROTC program, hosts a five-day tour for college educators each summer. Liberty’s participants were: Dr. George Buzzy, Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University; Dr. Stephen Parke, Associate Dean for the Helms School and a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army; and Jose Mercado from LU’s CASAS (Center for Academic Support and Advising Services). Conference leaders included LU Eagle Battalion cadre/professors of Military Science. The LTC’s commanding officer, Col. Chester F. Dymek III, served as senior officer of the LU/UVA ROTC cadre until recently.
Buzzy said participants observed the newly minted second lieutenants in action, who in turn trained the group of educators in rappelling, river crossing and the high ropes course.
“This truly was an amazing event, both experientially and academically,” he said.
Buzzy and his crew met up with 2nd Lt. Paul Tillman, a 2009 Helms School graduate, who was an instructor and also served on a panel describing his ROTC experience. (Tillman was one of 11 LU graduates to be commissioned to the Army ROTC this year.)
Buzzy said the schedule also included a banquet and a combat platoon demonstration, where they were given the opportunity to fire blank rounds from a variety of weapons. Of the soldiers giving the demonstration, all had served at least once in Iraq/Afghanistan, and one had four tours, he said.
The group also attended a Leadership Symposium, which addressed the granting of academic credit for the leadership elements of ROTC training.
“Leadership courses and degrees are becoming very popular in academic circles and Liberty’s Helms School of Government hopes to meet with ROTC cadre about this concept this fall,” Buzzy said.
For information on the Army ROTC at Liberty University, go to www.liberty.edu/rotc.
For information on the Air Force ROTC, go to www.liberty.edu/studentaffairs/airforcerotc