The Army ROTC program at Gannon University was one of eight universities to receive the General Douglas MacArthur Award for excellence from the U.S. Army’s Cadet Command and the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Foundation for 2012.

Gannon’s ROTC program was honored as the most outstanding among the 41 schools in the 2nd Brigade, based on a combination of the number of Second Lieutenants commissioned, the performance of the University’s cadets’ and standing on the command’s National Order of Merit List and its cadet retention rate. The universities were selected from among the 273 senior ROTC units nationwide, as the programs that best represent the ideals of “duty, honor and country,” as advocated by Gen. MacArthur.

Gannon’s U.S. Army ROTC Program is a host of the “Pride of PA” Battalion, which also includes Cadets enrolled at Mercyhurst University and at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. The program offers leadership training, management experience, and adventure found in few traditional college courses. It develops physical stamina, self-discipline, and poise–qualities basic to success in any career, military or civilian.

“The Second Brigade, of which we are a part of, has the most member institutions of the eight brigades nationwide, and is also the most academically competitive,” said Lt. Col. Bradley D. Nadig, Professor of Military Science and Commander of the “Pride of PA” Battalion.  “This MacArthur Award speaks to the long tradition of service to country and also to the great military tradition here at Gannon, a tradition that the U.S. Army is well aware of.”

Gannon University cadet, Kayla A. Amsler, was honored as a National Distinguished Military Graduate.  Amsler was one of 4 “Pride of PA” senior officers so honored as a DMG, and was ranked in the top 1% of the 5,579 cadets nationwide in the Army’s Order of Merit list. These rankings are determined by a number of criteria, including grade-point average, strong athletic participation and demonstrated abilities during college.  Amsler will commission with 13 other seniors this spring as a new Second Lieutenant.

Of the eight universities to receive the MacArthur Award this year, a list that includes the University of Notre Dame, the University of Virginia and Texas A&M University, Gannon has the second-smallest enrollment.

Last year, the U.S. Army awarded approximately $700 thousand in scholarships to Gannon students, a number that also includes University awards that add support for room and board.  “The U.S. Army looks at support like this and sees leadership,” Nadig said. “This MacArthur Award recognizes that Gannon’s mission is very consistent with the ‘duty, honor and country’ principles that Gen. MacArthur espoused.

This article was originally published on Mar. 12, 2013 on