Michigan Tech’s 1st Arctic Battalion on a ruck march.

MTU Arctic Warriors Ranked No. 1 ROTC Program in Midwest

Michigan Tech’s 1st Arctic Battalion earns MacArthur Award, making them the best university ROTC program in the Midwest.

Just in time for Saturday’s Midyear Commencement and Commissioning ceremonies, Michigan Tech’s 1st Arctic Warrior Battalion has earned a new accolade: Best in the Midwest. 

Michigan Tech’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit was unanimously selected to receive the MacArthur Award for the 2022-23 academic year, given to the best among the Midwest’s 42 university ROTC programs. The Arctic Warriors will now compete with seven other regional winners for the honor of top overall ROTC program in the nation. 

MacArthur Award winners are the most successful units of the U.S. Army Cadet Command in accomplishing their mission to train and commission lieutenants entering the Army each year. Presented annually by the General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, the award is based on a combination of the achievement of the school’s commissioning mission, its cadet retention rate and cadets’ performance and standing on the command’s National Order of Merit List. 

Cadets in December
Cadets and staff of MTU's 1st Battalion Arctic Warriors earlier this month. 

Maj. Daniel F. Gwosch, military science professor and department chair for Army ROTC at Michigan Tech, learned of the award last week. “Seventy cadets is a small slice of the student population at Michigan Tech, but this award is an indicator of the quality of students furthering their education at this great institution,” said Gwosch. “The cadets, cadre and staff are excited about this recognition, and we appreciate the support from so many individuals across Tech.”

Senior cadet Victoria Cameron said the ROTC program has enriched her experience at Michigan Tech. “This program has not only helped me develop as a leader and student, but has also allowed me to create friendships and memories that are unique only to Michigan Tech’s Army ROTC,” said Cameron.  

Firing the howlitzer
Cadet Cannon Crew fires the 75mm HOWLizter during a home MTU football game. 

Army Cadet Command will convene an awards board in January to select the top national ROTC program and institution to receive the 2022 Army ROTC and Educational Institution Partnership Excellence Award. 

“3rd Brigade ROTC is proud of its partnership with Michigan Technological University,” said Col. Adam J. Lewis. “It’s one of the strongest in the brigade. Selecting its Army ROTC program as the top program demonstrates the level of support Michigan Tech provides, the quality of its ROTC cadre and staff, as well as the talent, values and potential of its awesome cadets. We hope to see Michigan Tech selected as the No. 1 ROTC program in all of Cadet Command.”

Lewis will speak at the ROTC program’s commissioning ceremonies at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Michigan Tech’s Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. Three Air Force cadets and five Army cadets will be commissioned.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.