“In all my actions, I will put loyalty to the highest moral principles and the United States of America above loyalty to organizations, persons, and my personal interest.”
That’s the final sentence in the Army officers’ creed.
Lieutenant Colonel Marc P. Beckage is the commander of The Fighting Scots Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Beckage started his military career as an enlisted soldier with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard while attending Scranton University. Beckage received his commission in 1997 and served in a variety of positions as he rose in rank.
Beckage has been deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, both in 2003 and again in 2006.
“The ROTC program at Edinboro offers students professional mentorship, not only from well experienced active U.S. Army Cadre, but also from their upperclassmen in the department,” Beckage said.
The ROTC students also get to interact over the summer break with other ROTC cadets from programs all over the nation. The ROTC cadets are “put through their paces” as each is given leadership tasks they must complete with their team.
“The specific skills students receive in Army ROTC includes initial entry military fundamentals, leadership development and adventure training,” Beckage said. “Students enrolled in the program receive instruction in the fundamentals of leadership with emphasis on self-discipline, integrity, confidence and responsibility.”
The instruction on practical leadership training is given in the classroom.
During the summer, the cadets have a lot of options as for the programs they can participate in. They can choose from internships, an international cultural understanding program, the Northern Warfare Training Course, Airborne School, and Air Assault School.
“These training experiences enable the student to evaluate situations, make decisions, and develop those attributes essential to a leader in both the civilian and military environment,” Beckage said.
Over homecoming weekend, the cadets attended the Army Ten Miler in Washington D.C., which is held every year. The ROTC has a ranger team.
“The Fighting Scots Ranger Challenge Team tests their physical endurance, mental agility, and leadership skills in a three-day event each fall semester against 41 schools in the northeast region,” Beckage said.
The Edinboro ROTC does charity work, as well, helping the warrior community both inside and outside of the Edinboro area. ROTC commits to donate 100 hours of community service every year.
“We partner with the Edinboro Student Veterans Association and the French Creek Military Officer Association to support the 5K Walk/Run For Warriors to raise significant funds for both the Wounded Warrior Project and the Pittsburgh Fisher House,” Beckage said.
They also work with various veterans groups, clubs and organizations, raising funds to help out wherever they can.
If you are interested in joining the Edinboro ROTC program, Beckage suggests incoming freshmen apply online in order to compete for a scholarship during the summer or fall of their senior high school year. They should go to goarmy.com.
“Students may receive a scholarship offer in two ways: from our national headquarters or from the campus ROTC program,” Beckage said.
They can also find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Any student on campus may try out our program by enrolling in an introductory ROTC class,” Beckage said, “without any commitment to military service.”
“Stop by and visit anyone in our offices on the ground floor of Hendricks Hall and we will be happy to help any student get enrolled in our classes.”
Coming up for the ROTC, senior cadets will receive their job placement results during the first week of November. This is where the cadet learns what branch of the officer corps he or she will be assigned to.
Some of the different classifications are infantry, medical and maintenance.
More so, the ROTC will partner with the Edinboro Student Veteran Association to celebrate Veterans’ Day on Nov. 11. The ROTC club will also support a ceremony to honor our local veterans that same afternoon at the Edinboro Manor retirement community.
This winter, ROTC will continue their civilian scuba diving certification program organized by the ROTC Cadre.
“While at Edinboro, I challenge you to diversify your skills by taking classes that are different from your military specialty,” Beckage said.
George Schmidt is a Staff Writer for The Spectator.