NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science hosted an activation ceremony for the 73rd Demon Battalion Aug. 25. The military tradition allows the commander to assess the readiness and discipline of the unit and commemorates the unit’s history and lineage. ROTC’s curriculum and training ensures cadets’ scholastic, athletic, and leadership abilities are developed and tested, preparing each for their individual career paths.
This year’s Demon Battalion staff includes Battalion Operations Officer Cadet Major Taylor Dixon of Shreveport, Personnel Officer Cadet Captain Dylan Trueblood of Natchitoches, Intelligence and Recruiting Officer Cadet Captain Andrew Wesley of Shreveport, Logistics Officer Cadet Captain Arianna Astorga of New Iberia, Communications Officer Cadet Captain Brooklyn Guerra of Abbeville and the Battalion’s Color Sergeant Cadet Caiden Matthews of Shreveport.
Cadets were also recognized for summer achievements.
Successfully completing Advanced Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, were Battalion Commander Cade Davis of Shreveport, Dixon, Jimmy Lara of Fort Polk, Michael Shamblin of Dry Prong and Trueblood. Wesley volunteered to serve at Fort Knox on the opposing forces to facilitate the field training, which helped prepare him for Advanced Camp next summer.
Cadet Brendan Campbell of DeRidder completed Basic Camp at Fort Knox. The 32-day program focuses on leadership skills and trains on individual and leader tasks to develop and reinforce the Warrior Ethos and Army Values. Cadet Loren Higginbotham of Jennings was selected to participate in the 4-week, full immersion Cadet Field Training at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This program emphasizes military skills; individual training; preparations for extended field operations; and leading, participating in, and conducting small unit tactical operations.
Shamblin completed Cadet Troop Leader Training, which provides an opportunity for cadets to serve in lieutenant-level leadership positions in active duty units. Shamblin served with the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
Lara was awarded the Reconnaissance Commando badge, which recognizes cadets who display superior skills at Advanced Camp. A Recondo badge recipient must exceed the standards in physical fitness, confidence courses, land navigation, marksmanship, first aid, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear training and the 12-mile foot march. Lara is the first Demon Battalion cadet to earn the award in seven years.
When students first enroll in an ROTC class, they have no military obligation. By choosing to take an oath of contract, cadets demonstrate not only their physical fitness and academic excellence, but also their desire to serve a higher purpose through the Army.
Cadets Makenzie Cain of Shreveport and Matthews took the oath, administered by LTC Joshua Drake, professor of military science.
Three cadets were recognized as Wise Family Foundation scholarships. They are Todd Gladish of Huntsville, Texas; Layla Theriot of Raceland and Jordan Edwards of Ville Platte.
Information on Northwestern State’s ROTC program is available at https://rotc.nsula.edu/.