A program both lauded and censured when revealed by President Scott Scarborough on July 2, 2015, the UA Corps of Cadets recently began its first semester as an organization on campus.
Criticizers wondered why UA needed such a program when it already had an established Army ROTC program. And the $100,000 salary paid to Corps’ leader, Brad Harvey, came as an affront to a University community struck all at once by $40 million in cuts.
Harvey described the Cadets as ethical leaders, saying, “They’ll learn ethical leadership that they can apply in the modern world.”
Harvey has 20 years of Army experience and experience as head of the University’s ROTC program under his belt.
The Cadets are similar to the ROTC program on campus. The major difference is that the Cadets will have no military obligations at the completion of their program.
UA adopted the idea from similar tech universities.
“There’s two universities that do like what Akron’s building to do, which is Virginia Tech and Texas A&M,” Harvey said. “They have a large university and then inside that university they have a Corp of Cadets.”
The students start their freshman year by taking a few ROTC classes along with their Cadet classes. Students are allowed to take the first two years of ROTC with no military commitment at all.
At the end of a student’s sophomore year, they will be able to decide if they want to move forward with military commitment or take a citizen leader track.
That’s where the Corps of Cadets will come and provide students who choose the citizen leader track with the proper business and leadership skills they will need after graduation.
“We’re going to partner with the College of Business and the management department over there and have some classes that they go and continue on the more civilian side of leadership,” Harvey said.
Even though they are still adjusting to their first few weeks, the Corps of Cadets already have plans to take on several service leadership projects to teach the students the values of planning, delegating, and executing events, according to Harvey.
Robert Stachowiak, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering, and Shane Scott, a sophomore majoring in political science and philosophy, are two who are helping to promote the Cadets. Both seemed to agree and appreciate the Corps of Cadets not having a military commitment policy.
“I was looking at ROTC, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to join the Marine Corps or the Army, or if I even wanted to do it after college. I liked what they presented, but I didn’t want to have the commitment,” Scott said. “So when I saw this, I thought it was a good opportunity to get the same type of leadership training without the obligations and I get to choose after.”
Stachowiak said his favorite part of the Cadets so far is the rigorous morning physical trainings, or PTs, and waking up at 5 a.m.
“We get out there early enough in the morning and work out,” he said.
Harvey said he hopes to expand the program to a couple hundred Cadets.
If students are interested in joining the Corps of Cadets, they can contact Brad Harvey at [email protected] or (330) 972-2073.