Minneapolis Star Tribune metro columnist Katherine Kersten profiles the Golden Gopher Army ROTC battalion at the Universit of Minnesota in “While U of M sleeps, our military leaders are born.” Referring to the 120 members of the battalion, Kathy writes:
These are the cadets of the Golden Gopher Army ROTC battalion. About 75 percent are U of M students; the rest are drawn from nine other metro-area colleges.
In 2007, the battalion was named the best Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit in the country in an annual contest among the nation’s 273 Army ROTC programs. Criteria range from cadets’ academic performance to their combat water-survival skills.
Growing student interest in military service at the U reflects a national trend. While the number of students who enter Army ROTC programs nationwide has remained relatively stable over the past decade, the number of those who complete the program and accept an Army commission rose from about 12,000 in 2004 to almost 16,000 in 2007-08, according to Lt. Col. Curt Cooper, the U battalion’s commanding officer.
On Cooper’s watch, the Golden Gopher battalion has grown from 47 cadets in 2004 to 120 today.
These young ladies and gentlemen give new meaning to the words of the University of Minnesota rouser, “Minnesota, hats off to thee.”