EWU ROTC Supports Football Team During Semifinal Playoff Win Against University of Maine

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Fighting Eagles Battalion was out for the final time this year at Roos Field in support of the football team.  The third ranked Eagles were playing the seventh ranked University of Maine Black Bears in the FCS Playoff Semifinal game.  This was the first ever meeting between the two teams and it would become a memorable one for the Eagles and one to forget for the Black Bears.

The EWU ROTC Jeep affectionately called “Lil Eag” is ready to move our historic World War II era howitzer to Roos Field.

Color Guard

EWU ROTC first supported the home team by having the Color Guard present our national and state colors during the playing of the National anthem prior to kickoff.  As they have done for every home football game this year, the Color Guard with precision and professionalism presented the colors at midfield.

The EWU ROTC Color Guard prepares to present the colors prior to the start of the FCS semifinal playoff game at Roos Field.  From left: Cadets Liam Hewey, Michael Beier, Ethan Smart, Christian Goldbach, & Sara Pollelo.

The EWU ROTC Color Guard presents the national and state colors on the 50 yard line at Roos Field.

The EWU ROTC Color Guard marches off of Roos Field after the playing of the National Anthem. 

Cannon Crew

After kickoff the Fighting Eagles Cadets then had a busy day supporting the home team with our popular Cannon Crew.  The EWU ROTC Cannon Crew has been supporting home football games at Eastern Washington for decades with our historic World War II era 75mm pack howitzer.  After every touchdown our Cadets fire the crowd pleasing cannon.  The scoring started early after an interception by the EWU defense inside the five yard line led to an easy first quarter touchdown for the Eagles offense.

Cadet Samuel Coutts fires the cannon after a first quarter touchdown.

In what was expected to be a tight game due to the impressive showing Maine had last week defeating #2 ranked Weber State, the Eagles offense scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 21-0.  By halftime the Eagles built up their lead to 28-0 and the party was on at Roos Field.

EWU ROTC Cadet Haley Bent fires the 75mm pack howitzer after a first half touchdown.

In the third quarter the Black Bears would cut the deficit to 35-19, but would get no closer.  The Eagles would dominate the rest of the way winning by a final score of 50-19.

Cadet Sara Polello fires the cannon after a second half touchdown.

Way Ahead

On behalf of the EWU ROTC Fighting Eagles Battalion, congratulations to the EWU football team for their impressive playoff victory.  With the victory the EWU football team advances to the FCS College Football Championship game that will be played January 5, 2019 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.  In the FCS Championship game the Eagles will play the North Dakota State Bison.  NDSU is the defending National Champions and have won six of the past seven FCS College Football Championships.  The Eagles will no doubt have their hands full in the national championship game, but the resilience and heart they have played with all season shows they have the ability to beat anyone.

Go Color Guard!  Go Cannon Crew!  Go Eags!

EWU ROTC’s Hosting Of German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge Testing Featured on Multiple Media Outlets

The recent hosting of the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) test by the Eastern Washington University (EWU) ROTC program has brought a lot of positive media attention to the Fighting Eagles Battalion.  Below is a list of the articles published about the GAFPB with short excerpts.  Click the links to read the full articles.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Dillow, 92nd Medical Operations Squadron medical technician, performs the marksmanship test during the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge Competition hosted 17-18 November, 2018 by Eastern Washington University ROTC. (Photo Credit: A1C Lawrence Sena)

  • Eastern Washington University ROTC Hosts First German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge Competition (US Army website)

“The individuals who competed for the GAPFB this weekend, whether they earned a badge or not, are an excellent example of why the United State military is so great,” stated Sergeant First Class Jason Hennig, EWU ROTC’s Senior Military Instructor. “They recognized the opportunity for a unique challenge, they accepted that challenge, and gave it everything they had. Readiness is the Army’s number priority and this event absolutely reinforced that. The Service Members that prepared for these events were rewarded with the opportunity to wear this unique foreign award. For those who did not prepare, they were left with the understanding of how important rehearsals and preparation are to any exercise or training event.”

“Wearing the GAFPB is a symbol of pride,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ken Chudoba, 92nd Maintenance Squadron Munitions Material section chief. “The badge shows Airmen stepped outside their comfort zone and did something to set themselves apart.”

There were more than 160 participants from 23 different military units throughout the Pacific Northwest region, including Air Force recruiters, Air Force ROTC recruits and four units from Fairchild.

Competing for the GAFPB provides an opportunity to test the physical and mental skills Airmen may use in battlefield situations and provides a first-hand look at how German forces measure their combat readiness, said U.S. Air Force Maj. Joseph Schneider, 92nd Security Forces Squadron commander.

  • ROTC Cadets Compete for Military Proficiency Badge (Eastern 24/7)

“We have cadets who have transferred to Eastern for its ROTC program,” said Capt. Gregory Benjamin, assistant professor of military science. “This event is an opportunity to highlight what the ROTC program brings to the university and what the school does in return.”

  • EWU ROTC Takes Top Spot in Military Badge Competition (The Easterner)

Null competed for the honor to wear the GAFPB along with 167 other members apart of 22 different U.S. military units throughout the West Coast. Other universities that competed included: Gonzaga University, University of Idaho, Washington State University, Seattle University, University of Washington and Central Washington University.

“To me, it means that I’ve come much farther than I ever would’ve had I not been here,” Null said. “It means that I’ve been doing all the right things. I’ve been working to achieve, not just the gold for the GAFPB, but it means I’m likely to get commissioned in the Army and that I’m likely to put myself on the path to a brighter future.”

Airmen from Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington participate in the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge competition hosted by Eastern Washington University, November 17th and 18th. The competition is an opportunity to reinforce German and American alliances, and allows members of the US Armed Forces to experience how allied forces stay mission ready.

Go GAFPB!  Go Fighting Eagles!

EWU ROTC Supports Football Team’s Second Round Playoff Victory

It was a beautiful, but cold day yesterday at Roos Field as the Eastern Washington University (EWU) football team hosted a second round football playoff game against Nicholls State University.

Our EWU Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Color Guard supported the home team by presenting the colors just before the 2PM kickoff.

Our EWU ROTC Cannon Crew was also on hand to fire our historic pack howitzer after every home team touchdown. Unfortunately the Cannon Crew did not have much to do in the first half as EWU was down 14-3 and Nichols State was getting ready to kick a field goal as time was about to run out before halftime to go up 17-3.  Incredibly the kicked was blocked and ran back for an EWU touchdown causing our cannon crew to do a quick crew drill to fire the cannon after the extremely exciting, but unexpected touchdown.

During the second half the sun lowered and with it the temperatures became even colder at Roos Field which is also known as “The Inferno” due to its signature red field.  Our EWU ROTC Cadets were ready to heat up the Inferno with some more Cannon Crew action.

During the second half the colder it got, the hotter the EWU football team became as they want on a streak of 39 unanswered points keeping our Cadets very busy.

The Cannon Crew would continue to bring the heat to the home crowd at the Inferno by lighting up the sky and bringing our signature loud boom after each home team touchdown.

Congratulations to the EWU football team for its exciting 42-21 victory over Nicholls State.  Our EWU ROTC Cadets look forward to supporting the football team next weekend as it takes on University California-Davis at Roos Field in the third round of the FCS playoffs.  Let’s bring more heat to the Inferno next week.

Go Eags!

Class of 2019 EWU ROTC Cadets Receive Their Army Branching Assignments

branching ceremony

2019 EWU ROTC Branching Ceremony

On November 29, 2018 the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” Battalion hosted a branching ceremony at Cadet Hall on the campus of Eastern Washington University.   The ceremony was held to recognize 14 seniors from the Class of 2019 who recently received notification of their branching assignment in the US Army.  The ceremony was attended by Cadets, alumni, university officials, friends, and family of the Fighting Eagles Battalion.

The US Army has 17 different branches for Cadets to compete for.  Being selected into one of the branches is the culmination of an assessment process that begins from the very first day a Cadet enters the ROTC program.  The Army’s accessions process ranks all Cadets across the nation with a score that is based off of factors such as their GPA, physical fitness test score, Advanced Camp performance, volunteer work, Color Guard participation, Ranger Challenge team, etc.  All the scores from these factors are added up to create a national Order of Merit List (OML).  The higher the score a Cadet has, the more likely they will be to receive the branch of their choice.

Combat ArmsCombat SupportCombat Service SupportSpecial Branches
Air Defense Artillery
Chemical Corps
Adjutant General
Army Nurse
Armor Corps
Military Intelligence
Finance Corps
Medical Service
Military Police
Ordnance Corps
Corps of Engineers
Signal Corps
Field Artillery

During the beginning of their senior year, Cadets rank in order of preference which of the 17 branches in the Army they want to assess into.  The Army’s accessions process then uses primarily the OML score and a few other variables to determine which branch each Cadet receives.  This year the EWU Army ROTC program was extremely successful with 11 of the 14 Cadets receiving their #1 branch choice, a 78% success rate.  The Army average this year was 60%, demonstrating the effectiveness of the EWU ROTC program.  The other three Cadets all received branches within their Top 5.

To make the event a little extra special alumni and local service members from each branch that a EWU Cadet accessed into were invited to pin on the branching insignia for the Cadets.

Transportation Corps

The first Cadets to pin on their branch insignia during the ceremony was Cadets Tyler Roylance and John Howard.  Both Cadets branched into the Transportation Corps.  Transportation officers are responsible for moving people, equipment, and supplies around the world by sea, air, and land.  To pin the Cadets a local National Guard transportation officer, First Lieutenant Thomas Burdick from the 1041st Transportation Company and former Transportation officer and retired Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Mellick from the EWU ROTC class of 1967 attended the ceremony.

After making opening comments about their experiences in the Transportation Corps, 1LT Burdick and LTC(R) Mellick pinned the Transportation Corps insignia on Cadets Roylance and Howard.

Ordnance Corps

The next Cadet to receive their branch was Tyler Bergman.  Cadet Bergman branched into the Ordnance Corps.  Ordnance officers are responsible for the maintenance of Army weapon systems, ammunition, missiles, and vehicles.  Via a video presentation, Ordnance officer, 2nd Lieutenant Adelphe Jeatsa from the EWU Class of 2018 congratulated Cadet Bergman on receiving his branch and what it means to be a Ordnance officer.

After the video the EWU ROTC Professor of Military Science, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford pinned the Ordnance Corps insignia on Cadet Bergman.


Of the 14 Cadets that received their branches, 13 of them volunteered to serve on active duty.  One Cadet, Ryan Smith volunteered to serve in the US Army Reserve.  Branch accessions for reservists is different from active duty.  A reserve Cadet has to apply and be accepted by a unit to receive their branch.  Cadet Smith was accepted into a Quartermaster unit in Virginia which allowed him to branch into the Quartermaster Corps.  A Quartermaster officer is responsible for providing all classes of supply to troops such as food, water, petroleum, and repair parts.

To pin the Quartermaster insignia on Cadet Smith was his mother, Therese Lally who is a retired Lieutenant Colonel who served 22 years in the US Army’s Quartermaster Corps.  She pinned on her son the same Quartermaster insignia she wore during her time on active duty.  Truly a special moment for a great family.


The next Cadets to branch were twin brothers, Kyle and Bryce Stanton followed by Scott Hinshaw into the Infantry.  Branching into the Infantry is the most competitive branches in the Army to be assessed into.  This means that Cadets that want to branch Infantry have to score high on the OML list to receive it.  All three of these Cadets had high OML scores and the Stanton brothers’ score was so high that they were recognized as Distinguished Military Graduates (DMG).  The DMG honor is only given to Army ROTC Cadets ranked in the Top 20% out of approximately 5,500 Cadets across the nation.

Besides branching into the Infantry Cadet Hinshaw has also branched as a Military Intelligence officer.  What this means is that after serving approximately four years in the Infantry branch, Cadet Hinshaw will transition to become a Military Intelligence officer when he is promoted to Captain.  This is called having a “branch detail” assignment.  This means that Hinshaw was selected to serve in two of the most highly competitive branches for Cadets to receive.

To pin the infantry branch insignia on to the three Cadets was retired Brigadier General Neal Sealock.  BG Sealock is a 1974 graduate of the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” Battalion who branched into the Infantry.  He is also an inductee into the EWU Military Science Hall of Fame at Cadet Hall.  Before pinning the Cadets their branch insignia BG Sealock provided some great comments about leadership and what it means to serve in the Army.

Adjutant General Corps

The next Cadet to receive their branch was Jordan Johnson.  Cadet Johnson branched into the Adjutant General Corps.  An AG officer has the important job of managing the Army personnel system that includes unit readiness, awards, promotions, etc.  Via a video presentation, AG officer Major Bonnie Kovatch congratulated Cadet Johnson and provided remarks about the history of the branch and what it means to be an AG officer.  Major Kovatch is the current Professor of Military Science for the Central Washington University ROTC Battalion.

After the video presentation Cadet Johnson had his AG branch pinned on my LTC Stafford.

Signal Corps

The ninth Cadet to receive their branch was Malisa Barrier.  Cadet Barrier branched into the Signal Corps.  A Signal officer is responsible for providing communications and computer capabilities to Army forces spread across the world.  Via a video presentation, the current commander of the 335th Signal Command (Theater) Brigadier General Nikki Griffin Olive congratulated Cadet Barrier on her selection into the Signal Corps.  BG Griffin Olive is a 1990 graduate of the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” Battalion and is currently deployed to the Middle East.

After the great video presentation from BG Griffin Olive, LTC Stafford pinned the Signal Corps branch insignia onto Cadet Barrier.

Field Artillery

The next Cadets to pin their branch insignia were Cadets Kyle Isaacson and Carly Garland.  Both Cadets branched into the Field Artillery.  A Field Artillery officer is able to employ indirect firepower with cannons, rockets, and missile systems. They are also able to coordinate for supporting fires from air power and naval gunfire.

EWU ROTC Cadre member and Field Artillery officer, Captain Nicholas Carbaugh was on hand to congratulate both officers and provide some remarks about what it means to be a Field Artillery officer before pinning on their branch insignia.

Cadet Garland was selected for not only Field Artillery, but the Signal Corps as well.  She will transfer into the Signal Corps after completing her approximately 4-year branch detail assignment in the Field Artillery branch.

Military Intelligence

The 12th Cadet to receive their branch was Haley Bent.  Cadet Bent is the Commanding Officer of the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” Battalion.  Cadet Bent branched into one of the most difficult branches to receive Military Intelligence.  A Military Intelligence officer has a wide variety of functions they are responsible for.  An MI officer provides tactical intelligence, counter-intelligence, signals and reconnaissance information to support unit commanders.  Besides branching into a highly competitive branch, Cadet Bent has also been recognized as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the EWU ROTC battalion.

Army Nurse Corps

The final Cadets to receive their branch were Cadet Hayley Primm and Candace Madriaga.  Both Cadets branched into the Army Nurse Corps.   An Army Nurse officer serves in military hospitals around the world where they will train and serve in various clinical specialties such as in the Emergency Room, Operating Room, Community Health, etc.

To pin the Army Nurse insignia on Cadets Primm and Madriaga was Army Nurse and 2nd Lieutenant Nicholas Castro, a 2018 EWU ROTC graduate.  2LT Castro besides being a EWU ROTC graduate was also a 2018 Distinguished Military Graduate.

After congratulating both Cadets, 2LT Castro provided advice about what it means to be an Army nurse before pinning on their branch insignia.

Following the Branching Ceremony the Cadets shared cake and drink with their fellow Cadets, alumni, university officials, friends, and family that attended the ceremony.  It was a great ceremony made possible by the support of the alumni and friends of the EWU ROTC “Fighting Eagles” Battalion.

The EWU ROTC Cadre would like to thank BG(R) Neal  Sealock, LTC(R) Jerry Mellick, LTC(R) Therese Lalley, 1LT Thomas Burdick, and 2LT Nicholas Castro for traveling to Cadet Hall to participate in the pinning ceremony.  We would also like to thank BG Nikki Griffin Olive, MAJ Bonnie Kovatch, and 2LT Adelphe Jeatsa for providing videos congratulating the Cadets as well.  Another thank you goes out to the Dean of the College of Social Sciences, Dr. Jonathan Anderson for attending the event.  A final thank you to Melinda Leen for being the lead Cadet who coordinated the hosting of this great event.

Leaders make time for things that are important and congratulating these Cadets on the significance of their branching shows how important it was to these great leaders.  Thank you and Go Fighting Eags!