EWU Army ROTC Cadet Receives the Major General Barbara R. Holcomb Nurse Cadet Excellence Award

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program is pleased to announce that Kylie Crooks has been awarded the Major General (MG) Barbara R. Holcomb Nurse Cadet Excellence Award.  The award recognizes the top nursing Cadet in the 8th ROTC Brigade that covers the 30 different ROTC programs across the west coast of the United States to include major universities such as USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, Washington St. etc.  MG Barbara Holcomb is a 1987 graduate from the Seattle University’s ROTC program and the former Chief of the Army Nurse Corps.  She retired from active duty last year and established this award to recognize nursing excellence in the brigade.

Kylie Crooks
EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Kylie Crooks.

Cadet Crooks is studying nursing and is on pace to graduate with honors.  She has also demonstrated a high level of physical fitness by scoring above 90 points on each event of the Army Physical Fitness Test.  She has further demonstrated her fitness by receiving a Gold German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (GAFPB) during testing held by German Army officials at EWU.  She was also selected for a Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship that is currently paying her full tuition.  Kylie last summer completed ROTC Advanced Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky where she received the highest rating of “Outstanding”.  Besides being a Cadet, Kylie also serves as a watercraft engineer in the U.S. Army Reserve’s 467th Transportation Company.

After graduating from EWU and the Washington State University College of Nursing in December 2020, Kylie will commission as an officer into the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.  She will then attend basic officer training and be assigned to an Army hospital where she hopes to specialize in being an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse.  She also has a long term goal of pursing a Doctorate Nurse Practitioner in the future. EWU Army ROTC wishes Cadet Crooks all the best in her future endeavors and congratulate her for receiving this prestigious award.

Cadet Crooks
Cadet Crooks after completing a 12-mile ruck march.

Is Army Nursing for You?

Any EWU student who wants to be a healthcare professional and has an interest in serving their country should consider Army nursing.  If you are not sure if the Army is for you, ROTC is the one way to explore military service with no obligation to join.  Our nursing Cadets complete their first two to three years of Nursing and ROTC pre-requisites on Eastern’s Cheney campus. The nursing Cadets then complete their final two years at the Washington State University (WSU) College of Nursing in downtown Spokane.  The WSU College of Nursing reserves seats in each class for ROTC Nurses that achieve their admissions standards.  To qualify for one of the reserved nursing seats you must make the decision to contract into ROTC by then.

EWU Army ROTC currently has the largest Cadet nursing program in Washington State and the Inland Northwest.  We have a proven track record of our nursing Cadets receiving scholarships and going on to become healthcare professionals in service to our nation.  You can learn more about our nursing program at this link and feel free to contact us at this link with any questions.

Go ROTC!  Go Army Nursing!

Fighting Eagles Battalion Holds Contracting Ceremony for Army ROTC Nursing Scholarship Winner

olivia roble

This week the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Army ROTC battalion conducted a contracting ceremony for Cadet (CDT) Olivia Roble.  CDT Roble is a second year Cadet at EWU who is originally from Auburn, Washington. In high school CDT Roble applied for an Army ROTC National Scholarship to help her achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. CDT Roble was selected for a National Scholarship that will pay for four of the five years required for a nursing degree.  After finishing her first year at EWU, she became eligible this year to contract into the U.S. Army and activate her scholarship benefits.

Contracting Ceremony
EWU Army ROTC Cadet Olivia Roble, (right) prepares to take the Oath of Enlistment administered by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford (left).

During the ceremony Cadet Roble was given the Oath of Enlistment by Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Stafford, the Professor of Military Science for the EWU Army ROTC program.

Olivia Roble
EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Olivia Roble takes the Oath of Enlistment.

The contracting ceremony was a special moment for CDT Roble since her dad, a retired Coast Guard veteran was on hand for the event.  After taking the Oath of Enlistment, her father placed the EWU patch on her right shoulder sleeve signifying her as being a contracted Cadet.

contracting ceremony hug
EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Olivia Roble receives a hug from her father after contracting into the U.S. Army to become a nurse.

Contracting into Army ROTC activated CDT Roble’s scholarship benefits which include:

  • Full tuition and mandatory fees (or $10,000 annually for room & board)
  • $1,200 annually for books and supplies
  • A monthly stipend of $420
  • Ability to apply for Army sponsored internships
  • Opportunity to attend advanced military training
EWU Army ROTC Cadet, Oliva Roble (center) is contracted for contracting into the Army by fellow Cadets, Cierra Neumann (left) and Isabell Pannell (right).

Cadet Roble is part of the largest Army ROTC nursing program in Washington State and the Inland Northwest. If you want to become a future Army nurse like Cadet Roble, EWU ROTC can help get you there.  We have scholarships available to qualified applicants.  You can read more about how to become an Army nurse by clicking the below tab or contacting the Army ROTC office at rotc@ewu.edu .

Army Nursing

Go Army Nursing!  Go Fighting Eags!

U.S. Army’s March 2 Success Program Helps Students Prepare for the SAT and ACT

One of the main criteria for the awarding of ROTC scholarships is that applicants must demonstrate strong academic potential.  Applying for an ROTC scholarship requires applicant to have minimum academic credentials of:

  • Having a high school GPA of at least 2.50
  • Score a minimum of 1000 on the SAT (math/verbal) or 19 on the ACT

Of course having academic credentials that far exceed the minimums will make you more competitive for an ROTC scholarship.  Some people may hire tutors or buy expensive software to improve to improve their ACT or SAT scores.  The U.S. Army has now offered its own free alternative to help students prepare for these and other tests.  The program is called March 2 Success which is a website that gives users free access to online study materials the improve their standardized test scores.  These standardized exams includes state exit exams, college entrance exams, the military entrance exam (ASVAB) and others.

The website provides self-paced study in the subjects of Math, English, and Science for high school aged students.  The program even offers a pre-assessment test that is used to generate a custom learning path for each student.  The program also 7 full-length practice tests for both the SAT and ACT that is timed and scored similar to the real test.  The program also has decks of flashcards to help students study for the SAT and ACT.

Learn more about March 2 Success and improve your chances of receiving an ROTC scholarship at the below link:

ROTC Minuteman Scholarships Guarantee Cadets Duty in the U.S. Army Reserves or National Guard

Minuteman Scholarships

Something that many people do not realize is that joining ROTC does not mean that you are locked into Active Duty after graduating from college.  In fact Cadets can take a scholarship that locks them into the Army Reserves or National Guard after graduation.  The scholarship is called a Minuteman Scholarship.  Anyone qualified to receive an ROTC scholarship can apply for a Minuteman Scholarship.  2, 3, and 4 year Minuteman Scholarships are available to qualified Cadets.

Requirements for a Minuteman Scholarship

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Between ages of 17-30*
  • Valid Chapter 2 MEPS physical
  • Currently in the Army Reserve or eligible for enlistment
  • Ability to pass Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT)
  • Meet Army Physical standards (AR600-9)
  • Receive Mission Subordinate Command (MSC) Commander, Army Reserve Ambassador (ARA),or Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) nomination
  • Acceptance letter to a college or university with a ROTC program
  • Professor of Military Science (PMS) interview
  • Proof of academic major
  • 1000 SAT or 19 ACT scores, 2.5 GPA
  • Participate in Simultaneous Membership Program (SMP) in which they participate in an Army Reserve unit’s monthly and annual drills
  • Once commissioned… 8-year service obligation
  • Must not have turned age 31 by Dec. 31st of commissioning year

That may seem like a lot, but we will help you through the entire process! Recipients of a Minuteman Scholarship have the option of using the scholarship to pay for tuition or receive $10,000 annually for room and board expenses.  At Eastern Washington University the majority of our Cadets take the $10,000 room and board option since tuition each year is roughly $8,200. Cadets that choose the Minuteman Scholarship and join the Washington Army National Guard receive access to additional grants and federal tuition assistance up to $4,600, allowing them to pay for tuition and use the full $10,000 and other SMP benefits listed above. With tuition paid for through grants and tuition assistance, here’s an example chart of Minuteman Scholarship benefits:

After graduation from Eastern Cadets will commission into the officer rank of Second Lieutenant in the Washington Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserves.  Call 509-359-6110 our Enrollment Officer for more information.


Cadet Patrick Coleman (far left in uniform) is contracted into ROTC as a Minuteman Scholarship recipient by the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Brigadier General (Retired) Neal Sealock at halftime of a Nov. 3, 2019 EWU football game. Patrick Coleman successfully graduated from EWU in 2022 and is serving part-time as an officer in the Adjutant General Corps.


10 Tips for a Successful Army ROTC National Scholarship Application

Cadet Command Patch

Each year between October through March is the ROTC National Scholarship season where high school seniors apply for ROTC scholarships through the GoArmy website.  The Eastern Washington University Army ROTC office helps dozens of applicants each year navigate the ROTC scholarship process.  Based on this experience we have some tips we recommend to all ROTC National Scholarship applicants to maximize their opportunity to be awarded an ROTC scholarship.

  1.  Submit Your Application Early:  The first scholarship board usually meets in October, the second board in January, and the third board in March.  Getting your application completed before the first board will increase your chances of receiving a scholarship because the application will be seen three times.  Additionally the first board is where a lot of four year scholarships are awarded from as well.  If you really want a four year scholarship get your application complete prior to the first board.  Key things that need to be done to have the scholarship ready for the first board is to upload your high school transcripts, upload your SAT or ACT scores, complete the physical fitness test, and conduct an interview.  Here at Eastern we can complete both the fitness test and interview for you.  Contact us at rotc@ewu.edu to schedule.

Go Army website
The Go Army website

  2.  List 5 or More Schools on Your Application Applicants need to be realistic when putting down universities on their application.  Putting down only Harvard and MIT on the ROTC application, but only having an 1150 on the SAT means you are probably not getting a scholarship for those universities.  However, if you list Harvard & MIT plus three or more other schools you could likely get admitted to with an 1150 SAT score will increase your chance of receiving a scholarship to a school other than Harvard or MIT.  A scholarship to your third of fourth school is better than no scholarship at all.  Each university’s ROTC office has a Recruiting Officer called a “ROO” that can assist with learning what the admissions requirements are for each university.


  3.  Find Out What Type of ROTC Program You Are Applying to Something to keep in mind is that not all ROTC programs are created equal.  If you are planning to attend a university that has a host ROTC program you are likely going to have more military cadre and resources to better prepare you for the challenges ahead in ROTC.  Other universities have ROTC programs that are extension or satellite campuses.  Extension programs may require their students to drive to the host program to take courses.  If going to an extension program find out how far you have to drive to do physical training and ROTC classes.  The amount of driving to do ROTC may influence your decision to attend that school.  Satellite campuses may have very limited cadre, as little as two full time ROTC instructors.  If going to a satellite campus find out how many instructors they have assigned.  At EWU Army ROTC we are a  fully staffed host program with a proven track record of getting Cadets ready to succeed in both ROTC and the Army.


  4.  Visit Multiple ROTC Programs:  The best way to figure out if an ROTC program is right for you is to visit it.  If possible try to visit multiple ROTC programs to compare and contrast them.  This will also help you determine if you are attending a host, extension, or satellite program.  If attending a host program make an appointment with the ROO and ask to meet with the Professor of Military Science (PMS) who is usually a Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the ROTC battalion.  Ask about how well the program scores at Advanced Camp?  How many first branch choices did the MS-IV class receive?  Ask about where they train at?  How many Cadets are on scholarship?  How does the program perform at Ranger Challenge competitions?  This should give you an idea of how well the ROTC program is performing.  Also bring your parents to the ROTC program to meet the ROO and PMS.  At EWU Army ROTC, our ROO and PMS always makes time to visit with parents.  We want you and your parents to be as comfortable as possible with your decision to dedicate four years of your life being part of our ROTC program.

EWU Army ROTC’s Cadet Hall

5.  Ask What Other Scholarships Are Available:  Even if you do not receive an ROTC National Scholarship talk to the ROTC program you are interested in about other scholarship options.  They should be able to inform you about ROTC campus based scholarships, Minuteman Scholarships, and Guaranteed Reserve Forces Duty (GRFD) Scholarships.  Some schools also have various academic and alumni scholarships that Cadets can apply for as well.  For example at EWU we have four Cadets on a fraternity sponsored Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship and another on the Chertok Memorial Scholarship which is an academic scholarship awarded through the College of Social Sciences.

LaTour RVT Scholarship
Cadet Emma LaTour is awarded the Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship that will pay her a full year of tuition at EWU.

6.  Train to Take Your Fitness Test:  Applicants that are not in the best of shape should spend a month training to improve their fitness prior to taking the fitness test.  ROTC scholarships are highly competitive and running a seven minute mile could be the difference between receiving a 4 year or 3 year scholarship.  If possible try and take the scholarship fitness test while visiting the ROTC program you are most interested in.  Fitness is a very important attribute of being an Army officer and preparing for the test and doing well on it will make a good first impression with the ROTC Cadre.


7.  Prepare for Your Interview:  The interview for the ROTC National Scholarship is very important since it is worth 200 points.  Additionally the interviewer who is usually a Professor of Military Science, will write an assessment of you that will be read by the scholarship board.  Making a good first impression is critical, show up on time and come dressed for success.  Don’t wear torn up jeans and t-shirts to an ROTC interview.  Business dress for both males and females is very appropriate for a scholarship interview.  Don’t be taking calls or answering texts on your phone during the interview.  Yes I have seen this happen!   Be prepared to answer simple questions like, “Tell me a little about yourself”.  Remember you are selling yourself to the PMS to write the best assessment possible of you to the scholarship board.  Be well prepared to answer questions and think on your feet.  Finally be prepared to ask the interviewer some questions at the end of the interview.  This further demonstrates how prepared you were for the interview.


8.  Spend Time Writing a Quality Essay:  On the ROTC application you will have the opportunity to write a little bit about yourself.  Make sure to spend the time to write a quality essay, personal statement, and achievements.  You especially should highlight why you want to be an Army officer.  Make sure you use proper grammar and don’t have misspellings.  Writing is an important skill for Army officers to have, so show the board you can write a quality narrative.  In the narrative make sure to highlight aspects about you that will make you stand out from the crowd.  Mentions things like if you ranked nationally in some event, how many hours you were per week at your job, any awards you have received, volunteer service, etc.


  9.  Play a Sport:  Points are awarded on the ROTC scholarship application for sports played.  Remember that Cadets in ROTC are scholar athletes, just like members of the university’s sports teams.  The Army wants its officers to be athletic.  If you know you plan to apply in the future for an ROTC Scholarship than find a sport to play in high school, preferably two of them.  Having all-conference and all-state sports honors on an ROTC application will really help the application stand apart from the crowd.


10.  Get Involved in Organizations:  On the scholarship interview there are points that can be awarded for being involved in school and community activities.  For example being elected to student government and being a member of the National Honor Society are worth points.  Being involved in Scouting or Civil Air Patrol are examples on community organizations that points can be awarded for.  Volunteering for local organizations are other great things to include on the application and mention during interviews.

ROTC National Scholarship winner
2019 ROTC National Scholarship recipient to Eastern Washington University received a 4-year scholarship worth $77,000.

Following these tips will help you be competitive for an ROTC scholarship.  However, these tips cannot overcome poor performance in the classroom.  Keeping a high GPA and scoring well on the SAT or ACT are very important for being competitive for an ROTC scholarship.  The Army is looking for Scholar, Athlete, Leaders so try to work towards meeting all three of these criteria in your application.  Good luck to everyone pursuing an ROTC scholarship and feel free to leave a comment or email us at rotc@ewu.edu with any questions.

Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity Awards Scholarship to EWU Army ROTC Cadet

The Eastern Washington University (EWU) “Fighting Eagles” Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) battalion is pleased to announce that Cadet James P. Dutton has been awarded a 2019 Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship.

The scholarship is in honor of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity’s EWU chapter co-founder First Lieutenant Randy Van Turner.  Randy was a 1968 graduate from the EWU ROTC program who was a recipient of the Silver Star and was killed in action in 1969 during the Vietnam War.  His fraternity brothers decided to honor his service by establishing an ROTC scholarship in his name.  The scholarship is awarded to EWU ROTC Cadets that demonstrate academic excellence, high physical fitness, leadership, and financial need. Through a board process, Cadet Dutton was chosen as the fourth Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship recipient this year.  He will receive one-year of paid tuition to EWU.

Cadet Dutton comes from a military family with his dad having spent 22 years in the U.S. Air Force.  He moved to Washington two years ago from Colorado to pursue a double major in Environmental Science and Biology at EWU.  James this past summer excelled at Basic Camp at Ft. Knox, Kentucky and is currently preparing to attend Advanced Camp next summer.  James’ goal is commission as an officer and pursue a career in Aviation in the Washington Army National Guard.  The Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship has helped lift the financial burden of paying for his college tuition over the next year so he can spend more time focusing on ROTC and pursuing his dream of becoming a pilot and a wildlife biologist.

Note: If you are interested in donating to the Randy Van Turner ROTC Scholarship please contact the EWU Foundation at 509-359-6703 for more information.