Georgia Southern ROTC program receives MacArthur Award

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - You won't confuse the Military Science building here at Georgia Southern with Paulson Stadium or Hanner Fieldhouse, but what goes on inside can be just as competitive.

They're making room on the flag pole for another MacArthur Award banner, their fourth in eight years. It signifies they're among the top eight programs in the nation and the best in the southeast.

Staff leaders say success grows the program.

"The Army has been very good to us to send high-quality non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers. We get tremendous university support," said Ret. Col. George Frederick, with GSU ROTC.

Charles Avery had offers to go elsewhere, then learned about Southern.

"When I talked to people about Georgia Southern's ROTC program, they said there are good cadets here and it's a good program," said Cadet Maj. Charles Avery.

Younger brother James had similar offers but was impressed with the ROTC program enough to come here, even with his brother here.

"I came to Georgia Southern and I loved the campus but also when I met with the cadre, they were all about focusing on you right now," said Cadet Second Lt. James Avery.

Both cadets hope to go into the Army's newest and most selective branches: cyber. Instructors say the program's success helps them attract more of the top level recruits.

"We've got kids walking in here on four-year national scholarships. They can go anywhere they decide. So we have to make sure they understand they need to come to the Eagle Battalion," said Frederick.

Frederick says the MacArthur Award has become the battalion's standard and not winning means disappointment.

They say just like a good football or basketball program, awards help bring recruits and recruits help bring more awards.

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