Army ROTC Educates Leaders in a Time of War

By John Gagnon, promotional writer

What the sage calls “the deeds of war” range far, and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are affecting how Michigan Tech trains its military leaders.

There was a time, says Lieutenant Colonel Dallas Eubanks, when newly commissioned second lieutenants, who are at the bottom of the hierarchy of Army officers, were supposed to keep quiet, listen to their savvy platoon sergeant and maybe learn something.

No more, says Eubanks, who commands Michigan Tech’s Army ROTC program. “It’s much harder to be a lieutenant today than it ever was,” he says. “We put so much more pressure, so much more responsibility, on the shoulders of lieutenants than in the past. It takes a special breed of young man or woman to lead American soldiers today.”

Being an Army officer these days, he explains, involves more than being a combatant. “Lieutenants are deployed into the villages and cities abroad and act as the mayor, negotiator, chief of police, and everything else. So we have to make sure they’re as well prepared as possible.”

Since the Vietnam period, the US has had an all-volunteer Army, Eubanks notes. “But they’re not mercenaries by any stretch,” he adds. “They’re a lot more cerebral, a lot more educated. I spend a lot of time talking about ethical decision making, values and the code of conduct. Their senior year is all about officership—dealing with personal issues in your platoon, solving problems, counseling. That has nothing to do with tactics, but it’s all about leadership, and we’re in the serious business of training tomorrow’s leaders.”

Eubanks, who served in both the Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, says the nature of warfare encountered now makes a career in the Army more challenging. ”This is not for everyone,” he says. “I make sure the cadets understand that. If, through diligent discussion with parents and friends, they decide this is what they want, I’ll walk them through what it means. It’s a dangerous profession, being a soldier. There’s no rear area anymore. It’s a different battlefield.”

Eubanks last served in Iraq in 2003–04. He says he’s a “fairly fresh” veteran, and he infuses the experience into the instruction at Tech—from how to deal with local imams and sheikhs, to how to set up checkpoints. He also has added the history of insurgencies and the writing of insurgents—Mao Tse-Tung and Che Guevera to name two—so that cadets can address counterinsurgency.

The crux of the ROTC program is to give these young leaders “what they need to know in order to get the missions done and keep their soldiers safe.”

A distinguished military graduate from Arizona State University’s Army ROTC program in 1987, Eubanks has been in the service for twenty years. What has he learned? An appreciation of life, for one. “If you’re going to be a soldier, every day is precious.”

Military service in his family dates back to the Civil War. “It’s not all I know, but it’s all I’ve done,” Eubanks says.

This month he will begin his third and last year at Tech. Getting an ROTC command is highly selective. He feels both “fortunate and happy” to be here.

“I cherish every day here at Tech. I enjoy mentoring and coaching young men and women—both teaching them and learning from them.”

Rail Transportation Program Newsletter Released

The Rail Transportation Program (RTP) at Michigan Tech has updated its website and released its first newsletter http://www.cee.mtu.edu/railroad .

RTP was established in Fall, 2007, providing opportunities for students and faculty to participate in the development and operation of rail transportation for the 21st Century. The first year has been tremendously successful and the newsletter highlights the activities accomplished during the first year of the program.

For more information email RTP at rail@mtu.edu or call Dr. Pasi Lautala at 906-487-3547.

Michigan Tech Football to Host Free Junior High Camp

Submitted by Wes Frahm, director of athletic communications and marketing

The Michigan Tech football team will conduct a free junior high camp at Sherman Field on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 1-4 p.m. Youth entering grades six, seven or eight are invited to take part in the camp.

The campers will have a chance to meet Michigan Tech football players and coaches. There will be teaching sessions on the basics of offense, defense, conditioning and equipment.

“The camp is a great way for our football program to give back to the community,” said Tech head coach Tom Kearly. “We try to do this every three years, which gives every junior high kid an introduction to football. This is an especially good year to host the camp with the new turf at Sherman Field.”

Michigan Tech football players will take part in instructing the sessions. All sessions will be non-contact.

To pre-register, call assistant coach Josh Hager at 906-487-2993. Registration will also be open at Sherman Field the day of the camp beginning at 12:45 p.m.

All participants must have a waiver form signed by a parent/guardian prior to participating. Watch for the form in upcoming issues of the Daily Mining Gazette or download one at MichiganTechHuskies.com .

Campus Tours Offered for Employees

The Admissions office, Staff Council and Human Resources are working together to offer employees an opportunity to explore and learn more about the University through a campus tour.

The next tour is scheduled Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. Tours last about an hour and a half and begin in the Admissions Office.

New staff will be contacted by Human Resources to schedule a tour. Current employees who would like to participate in a tour need to contact Chris Secord at 487-2281 or csecord@mtu.edu to schedule a tour time.

Anti-Icing Project Rescheduled

The application of anti-icing coating on the walkways between Wadsworth Hall and West McNair Hall has been postponed until next week. We will keep you posted.

New Funding

John Sutherland (mechanical engineering) received $10,000 from the National Science Foundation for "Collaborative Research: I/UCRC on Assembly Research."

Hiner's Office in New Location

Helene T. Hiner, administrative associate, has a new office location. You can now find her in room 223 in the JRVP/Opie Library.