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MSU Denver ROTC program celebrates Veterans Week in new location

The program’s new 9th Street location will bring more visibility to the program and empower students seeking to serve.

By Lindsey Coulter

November 13, 2019

MSU Denver ROTC student cadets gathered for training outside of the Tivoli.As Metropolitan State University of Denver celebrates Veterans Week, the staff and 41 student-cadets of the University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps are also celebrating their move to a new campus location. The program has relocated from a modular unit on the west side of campus to 1024 9th Street.

“The move will bring the ROTC to the heart of the Auraria Campus, as many students, faculty and administrators have commented that our offices were difficult to find,” said Capt. Anthony Valenzano, who leads the program. “Most importantly, it will empower students with a process for entry into the military as a commissioned officer and unlimited potential for service to our country.”

Valenzano also believes the move will bolster Cadet pride as the historic space lends itself well to celebrating Roadrunners’ rich history of military service. For example, former student-cadets include Capt. Russell Rippetoe, a distinguished Airborne Ranger who was killed in action in Iraq in 2003, and Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, former commander for the military’s largest command and current commander for U.S. Army North. 

“In tandem with this move to a new facility during Veterans Day celebration, we intend to bring this proud and often-overlooked heritage to the forefront of what it means to be a part of the MSU Denver ROTC lineage,” Valenzano added.

That proud lineage begins with education. Students can test the ROTC waters by first enrolling in Military Science courses. Those interested in continuing participate in physical training three mornings a week, a weekly lab period and community outreach and volunteer activities. Additionally, ROTC student-cadets dedicate one weekend per semester to field training at Fort Carson or the Air Force Academy, and they must complete 37 days of advanced training at Fort Knox as a commissioning requirement. ROTC Contracted Cadets on Scholarship receive a monthly stipend, a textbook allowance and the choice between full tuition and fees or $5,000 per semester to cover living expenses. Student-cadets who participate for the required eight semesters, maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher and meet physical and medical requirements can then commit to four years of active duty within the U.S. Army or eight years of National Guard or Reserve service.

Valenzano said the ROTC also provides students with high-quality experiential learning opportunities. Cadets plan and lead all activities and hold rotating leadership positions throughout the year. They are evaluated on their reinforcement of military good order and discipline but also are afforded the opportunity to make mistakes. This leadership training ethically and morally prepares student-cadets to become 2nd lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

“ROTC impresses upon Cadets that they are the finest and most disciplined example of an MSU Denver student, and their community outreach represents MSU Denver and the future leadership of the Army,” Valenzano said. “The commitment of our cadets to the program and future service humbles me each day.”

Topics: Community, Excellence, Student Success

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