EWU Army ROTC Conducts 2020 Contracting Ceremony

2020 EWU Army ROTC Contracting Ceremony

On September 24, 2020 the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program contracted 6 Cadets into the U.S. Army.  The Contracting Ceremony was held in front of the historic Showalter Hall on the EWU campus.  Showalter Hall is the oldest building on EWU’s campus that was built back in 1915 when EWU was a teacher’s college.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Contracting Ceremony was attending by a small number of Cadets and family members and masks and social distancing requirements were followed.  Full video of the ceremony can be viewed below:

During the ceremony the 6 Cadets recited the Oath of Enlistment given to them by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford, the Professor of Military Science for the EWU Army ROTC program.  The first Oath of Enlistment was developed during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress established different oaths for the enlisted men and officers of the Continental Army.  The first Oath of Enlistment under the Constitution was approved by an Act of Congress on 29 September 1789. It applied to all commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers, and enlisted Soldiers in the United States military.

EWU Army ROTC Cadets, Isabell Pannell, Caleb Geringer, Nik Chapple, Charles Golding, Giovanni Beegen, and Kyle Collins stand in formation preparing to contract.

Contracting Cadets salute the unfurling of the U.S. flag.

Contracting ceremony officer in charge (OIC) Cadet Crystal Cruz turns over the formation to LTC Jonathan Stafford.

The oath would receive minor modifications during the 1800’s, but the current oath recited by the contracting Cadets has remained unchanged since 1959.  Here is the current Oath of Enlistment:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Cadets are given the Oath of Enlistment by LTC Jonathan Stafford.

LTC Jonathan Stafford contracts 6 Cadets into EWU Army ROTC.

Following the reciting of the Oath of Enlistment, the 6 Cadets were then given their right shoulder sleeve EWU Army ROTC patch. The patch was presented by Master Sergeant Michael Zehring who explained the importance of the right shoulder sleeve patch that recognizes combat service in the active U.S. Army. In the EWU ROTC program the right should sleeve patch recognizes these Cadets’ commitment to serve their country by contracting into EWU ROTC.

Cadet Charles Golding proudly displays his EWU ROTC patch after contracting.

By contracting the Cadets can now activate scholarship benefits, receive a $420 a month monetary stipend, attend advanced training, internships, and other opportunities to help them towards their goal of becoming a U.S. Army officer after graduating from EWU.  Congratulations to all six of our newly contracted Cadets!

Isabell Pannell
Caleb Geringer
Nik Chapple
Charles Golding
Giovanni Beegen
Kyle Collins

Note: More pictures from the ceremony can be viewed on our Flickr page.

How to Contract into ROTC

When Cadets first enroll into an ROTC class, they have no military obligation.  Taking an ROTC class is the one way to explore military service without having to contract into the military.  For students who find that military service is something they want to pursue they can then contract into ROTC.  Contracting requires the Cadet to meet specified academic, physical fitness, character, and medical requirements.  The are various options to contract and a college student does not have to join ROTC as a first year student to explore military service.  We have many transfer students, sophomores, and juniors and even Masters students enroll into ROTC to explore military service before making a decision to contract.  Please read our Contracting page or reach EWU ROTC through our Contact page for more information on contracting options.

9/11 Tribute Video from EWU Army ROTC

The below video is a time lapse of the American flag that flew over Cadet Hall on the Eastern Washington University (EWU) campus on September 11, 2020. In 2019 this American flag along with an EWU flag were flown over Kabul, Afghanistan.  On this 19th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, EWU Army ROTC gives a big thank you to all our first responders that are keeping our communities safe.  Together we are all Eagle Strong!

Military Order of the Purple Heart Recognizes EWU ROTC Cadet

Military Order of the Purple Heart
Congratulations to recently commissioned 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Cesar Guzman who was awarded the Military Order of the Purple Heart Leadership Medal. Cadets who receive the award must be in the Top 25% of their ROTC class and demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities. The Cadet must also be active in school and community affairs.

2LT Guzman graduated this year with a degree in Biology and commissioned into the Washington State National Guard as a Signal Corps officer. During his time in ROTC, 2LT Guzman was a member of the Ranger Challenge team, assisted with Cannon Crew, and volunteered as part of the Washington State Adopt A Highway program. He also was a volunteer wrestling coach for Cheney High School.
Truly a great leader that we thank the Military Order of the Purple Heart for recognizing.

EWU Army ROTC Alum Becomes First to Earn the Expert Soldier Badge


2019 Eastern Washington University (EWU) graduate 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Haley Isaacson became the first reported alum from the university’s Army ROTC program to be awarded the Expert Soldier Badge during testing held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington.

ESB pinning
2nd Lieutenant Haley Isaacson (right) is pinned her Expert Soldier Badge after testing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

In effort to improve the tactical skills of Soldiers and increase individual and unit readiness, the U.S. Army in Fall 2019 created the new Expert Solider Badge (ESB).  To qualify to take the ESB test, Soldiers  must first pass the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), qualify “Expert” on the M4 or M16 rifle, and be recommended by their chain of command.  During the five day test the participants have to again take the ACFT, conduct day & night land navigation courses, and be tested on their Warrior Tasks and Drills that include:

  • Building fighting positions
  • Search an Enemy Prisoner of War
  • Reacting to an improvised explosive device (IED) attack
  • React to chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear contaminated areas
  • Weapons proficiency lanes
  • Patrolling
  • Conducting a nine-line medical evacuation and many other skills
The Expert Soldier Badge

After completing the Warrior and Tasks and drill testing, the participants then need to complete a 12-mile ruck march in under 3 hours. Standards for the ESB are age and gender neutral.  In October 2019, the Army conducted its first ESB testing where only 11 of 56 soldiers passed.  During testing in November 2019 only 3 out of 100 soldiers passed which demonstrates the difficulty of receiving this badge.  During June 2020 testing at JBLM, 2LT Isaacson was one of only 39 soldiers at JBLM to pass the test held at JBLM from June 22-26.  Major General Xavier T. Brunson and Command Sergeant Major Robin Bolmer, the 7th Infantry Division Command team recognized all the competitors that earned their badge during an award ceremony.

2LT Haley Isaacson (right) poses with her husband 2LT Kyle Isaacson (left) after receiving the Expert Soldier Badge. Both are 2019 graduates of Eastern Washington University’s Army ROTC program.

2LT Isaacson was a Distinguished Military Graduate from EWU’s Army ROTC program in 2019.  She currently serves as a Military Intelligence officer in the 2-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team at JBLM.  Here is what 2LT Isaacson had to say when asked about any advice she would like to give to EWU Army ROTC Cadets interested in competing for the Expert Soldier Badge in the future:

The ESB is something that challenges you physically and mentally with its 34 stations and a final 12-mile ruck march. It is something that you should go after early in your career to set you apart from your peers. You get the chance to train alongside infantry personnel who are competing for the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) where about 80% of the ESB stations are the same. It is a unique experience to work with soldiers you don’t work with on a day to day basis. Receiving this is very rewarding especially when you’ve been training for it for about a month.

Hard work pays off, Go Eags🦅!

EWU Army ROTC congratulates 2LT Isaacson on her accomplishment. She has definitely shown that she is Eagle Strong!

EWU Army ROTC Cadet Receives Prestigious Award from the Society of American Military Engineers

The Eastern Washington University Army ROTC, “Fighting Eagles” battalion is pleased to announce that Cadet, Christian Goldbach was selected for the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) ROTC Award of Merit.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Christian Goldbach displays his Society of American Military Engineers ROTC Award of Merit.

This award was established to annually recognize outstanding engineering Cadets across the nation.  The SAME ROTC Award of Merit is a bronze medal that was first authorized for Cadets back in 1948.  To be eligible for the award Cadets had to be a junior or senior engineering student, be in the Top 25 percent of the engineering class, in the Top 25 percent of their ROTC class, and display exceptional leadership skills. Cadet Goldbach was 1 of the 20 Cadets selected nationwide for the award from the country’s 274 ROTC programs.

EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Christian Goldbach pictured evaluating Cadet training during a weekly Leadership Lab.

Christian is a Mechanical Engineering major entering his final year at Eastern.  Besides excelling academically he has also been a four year member of the university’s Ranger Challenge team and regularly achieves the maximum score on the Army Physical Fitness Test.  He further displayed his high level of fitness by earning the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.  The badge is one of the few foreign service awards authorized for wear on U.S. military uniforms.  He has been part of the Color Guard and Cannon Crew that support EWU’s sporting teams as well.  He was also selected for a military exchange program where he spent the summer at the Escuela Militar de Chorrillos, Peru’s version of West Point located in the capitol city of Lima.

Goldbach in Peru
Cadet Christian Goldbach, Eastern Washington University, at dinner during his assignment at Peru’s premier military academy, Escuela Militar de Chorrillos.

Congratulations to Cadet Goldbach for earning this prestigious award.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!

How to Apply for a 2021 ROTC National High School Scholarship

The 2021 Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) National Scholarship season began on June 12, 2020.  Army ROTC National Scholarships are for qualified high school seniors planning to attend a four-year university and are interested in training to become a future officer in the U.S. Army.  If you have already graduated high school please contact the Eastern Washington University (EWU) ROTC office because we have other scholarship options available.

EWU ROTC Cadets from the class of 2019 commission as officers into the U.S. Army.

ROTC National Scholarship Requirements

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between the ages of 17 and 26
  • Have a high school GPA of at least 2.50
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Score a minimum of 1000 on the SAT (math/verbal) or 19 on the ACT (excluding the required writing test scores)
  • Meet physical standards
  • Agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard)

If you meet the basic requirements, below are the instructions on how to apply for a ROTC National Scholarship.  You can get about 75% of the application completed in under an hour.

ROTC National Scholarship Process:

Step #1: You need to complete an on-line application that you can access through this link.  Applicants must initiate the on-line application by 4 February 2020. Remember your login and password for your cadet portal. Your login is the email you use to establish your account.

Step #2: Submit high school transcripts (at least through junior year) and SAT or ACT scores. You can upload PDFs through your account in the Cadet portal.

Step #3: Take the ROTC Basic Fitness Test.  A coach or PE teacher can administer this for you.

Step #4: Conduct an interview at one of the university ROTC programs (ideally where your first choice of college is).  We can do this any time here at Eastern after you start the on-line application. We are more than willing to conduct a Skype interview if you live several hours away.  Please reach us through our Contact page or call 509-359-6110 to setup an interview.

Make sure to read the below articles to help you with the ROTC scholarship process:

ROTC National Scholarship Timeline

The Army understands high school students could still be in the process of taking SATs and ACTs during their senior year.  Because of this the Army has three different boards that meet throughout the year to select ROTC scholarship winners.  Below is the board timeline.

1st Board

09 October 2020:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the first board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.  A benefit of completing the ROTC packet in time for the first board is that even if your packet is not selected it will be looked at again by the second and third boards thus increasing your chances of receiving a scholarship.

19 October 2020:  This is the date that the first board convenes and reviews every packet that was submitted by the 09 October 2020 deadline.

2nd Board

15 January 2021:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the second board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.  A benefit of completing the ROTC packet in time for the second board is that even if your packet is not selected it will be looked at again by the third board thus increasing your chances of receiving a scholarship.

25 January 2021:  This is the date that the second board convenes and reviews every packet that was submitted by the 15 January 2021 deadline.

4 February 2021:  This is the deadline to initiate new 2019-2020 ROTC scholarship applications.  If an application is not initiated by1159pm EST it will not be considered by the final board. Those who already have an application open can continue to modify it passed this deadline.

3rd Board

05 March 2021:  All four steps listed above must be completed on the GoArmy site before this date to be considered by the third board.  The application will not be considered if any of the steps are not completed.

15 March 2021:  Board convenes and runs until every packet that was board ready by the start of the board, has been reviewed.

Please view the below video for more information about submitting an ROTC scholarship application.

ROTC Scholarship Selection

Selection for ROTC scholarships are highly competitive and at EWU ROTC we recommend getting your application complete and seen in time for the second board.  The majority of scholarships are issued from the second and third boards and getting the application complete by the second board will increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.  Decisions on the scholarships awarded are usually released two to four weeks after each board.  Periodically check the Selection Status tab on your GoArmy application to see if you were selected.

An ROTC National Scholarship recipient to Eastern Washington University received scholarship benefits worth $77,000.

If you were not selected after the third board do not give up hope of receiving a scholarship.  There is a secondary process for applicants to earn a scholarship. Any  ROTC program can make an alternate offer to applicants that were not offered a national award. We get most of our new, incoming freshman on scholarships using this alternate process. Applying for the national scholarship is simply the first step. It is very simple and easy for us to make an alternate offer, but you first have to put together the ROTC application.

Please contact the EWU ROTC office for any additional details about how the scholarship selection process works.


Keep up-to-date on all the latest news and notes from the EWU ROTC program and Cadet Command in general by subscribing to our website using the sign up widget in the right sidebar.  You can also follow EWU ROTC at the below social media channels:

Remember if you have any questions about the ROTC National Scholarship process, please leave a comment, contact our office, or reach out to us through our social media sites.  We are here to help and want you to be as successful as possible to receive an Army ROTC scholarship.

Go ROTC!  Go Fighting Eags!