Sooner Battalion Facts
Unit Profile: (school year 2017-2018)
Name: University of Oklahoma Army Reserve Officer Training Corps - "The Sooner Battalion"
Website: www.soonerstrong.com or www.facebook.com/soonerstrong
Professor of Military Science: Lieutenant Colonel T. Kyle Brede, Aviation, U.S. Army
Senior Military Instructor: Master Sergeant Robert Atkinson, Field Artillery, U.S. Army
Program Established: 1917
Total Enrollment: 100 cadets as of June 29 2017
- 26 freshman (MSI), 30 sophomores (MSII), 25 juniors (MSIII), 19 seniors (MSIV).
- Mix of in-state, out-of-state students, and international students. International students are enrolled in ROTC elective courses are also enrolled in the US Army MAVNI program awaiting Basic Training. All students enrolled in an Oklahoma ROTC Program will receive in-state residency status. (State Bill No. 138)
- The average age of an OU Army ROTC cadet is 20. Some cadets are serving in the Oklahoma Army National Guard or the Army Reserves as an SMP Cadets, some are prior service, and quite a few are on scholarship.
- Many of those on scholarship earned their scholarship while on campus.
Female: 31% (This is more than double the gender demographic of the Army officer corps as a whole.)
African American: 9%
Hispanic American: 9%
About OU Army ROTC:
- The University of Oklahoma Army ROTC is an officer training and commissioning program that annually produces between 15 and 19 new Lieutenants for the United States Army.
- The training goals of the OU Army ROTC are to develop cadets mentally, physically, and scholastically. The course focuses on developing basic soldier skills, leadership qualities, physical fitness, and officership. The intent of the program is to prepare college-age men and women to lead American Soldiers in armed conflict.
- Nationwide, the Army ROTC program is the single largest source of scholarship money, and the program at the University of Oklahoma is no exception. 84% of OU Army ROTC cadets receive some form of financial assistance, which can help pay for tuition, fees, books, room and board.
- Recent graduates have participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, or have otherwise contributed in some way to the Global War on Terror.
- OU Army ROTC is seeking highly-motivated, quality men and women who are scholars, athletes, and leaders willing to commit to the profession of arms.
Centennial Celebration: This year is the 100th anniversary of the OU Army ROTC, and it kicked off its centennial celebration in boot camp fashion: with a 5K. This year’s race included new categories for special competitors, including ROTC alumni and JROTC students, with the competitors facing off against one another in their respective categories. With over 220 runners, participation more than doubled from the 1st Annual Sooner Strong 5K last year. Also in attendance will be the RUFNEKS, Boomer the OU mascot, the Spirit Squad and OUr Color Guard. See the opening ceremony here.
Ranger Challenge Change of Command: This semester we saw a big change within the Sooner Battalion. The Cadet Ranger Detachment was a majority of sophomores and freshmen. This year the detachment took 2nd place in the annual Ranger Challenge Competition.
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: The OU Army ROTC Flying Dutchmen team took first place, among college teams, in the 2017 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Race. Click here to see the winning team.
Bataan Death March: 2017 was OUr most competitive year, sending 6 teams to this year's Bataan Death March. OU cadets ran and placed 9th to honor WWII soldiers.As they ran and trotted 26.2 miles wearing full combat uniforms and hauling rucksacks, these students sought to honor the thousands of American soldiers who were captured by Japanese forces in 1942 and were forced to march through the Philippines, many dying along the way.
At the memorial march, survivors of the actual Bataan Death March shook hands with the participants. Meeting survivors helped motivate them for the race, which, though grueling, could not compare to the harrowing experience that the original marchers went through. Watch CDT Webb and team on their 26.2 mile march here.
Alumni Banquet: The Army ROTC Alumni & Friends Reunion Banquet, held annually during the month of November, is a major formal dinner that allows program alumni to converse with current cadets and staff members. It is typically held in the Molly Shi Ballroom located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union and includes a buffet-style dinner, a keynote address, discussion of current alumni affairs, remarks by the Professor of Military Science, presentations of scholarships for cadets, and presentations of awards for alumni. However, the highlight of this event is the interaction that takes place between members of the Sooner Battalion past and present. This year we had one of OUr largest events, nearing 300 attendees.
Unveiling of the Medal of Honor Display: The Armory is becoming a mini-museum with displays of OUr Fallen Heroes, Generals, Alumni and OU Army ROTC Hall of Fame-ers and most of all OUr Medal of Honor Winners. Check out pics from the unveiling here.