Senior Kristopher Troy Gillett recently returned from Lexington, Va., where he joined senior United States government officials at a National Security Seminar April 15 through April 18.
The ROTC cadet was the Sam Houston State University recipient of the coveted George C. Marshall Award, an award given to the top Army ROTC cadets in the nation.
While in Lexington, Gillett had the opportunity to directly interact with key leaders in attendance and discuss a variety of issues directly bearing on national security.
“I want to congratulate the winners of the George C. Marshall ROTC Award, the more than 260 young men and women who represent the best of our country and the best future for the United States Army,” said President George W. Bush in an internationally broadcast speech at last year’s event.
“I was very honored to be selected as the top cadet here at the Bearkat Battalion,” said Gillett. “Being chosen [Spring] Cadet Battalion Commander of the Bearkat Battalion has proven hard work pays off.”
According to Maj. Gen. John T.D. Casey, commander the Army ROTC program, the seminar attended by Gillette is a valuable learning experience.
“Events like this are of critical importance to their development as leaders,” he said. “The Army ROTC program provides the best leadership training in the world. We are all extremely proud of the scholar-athlete-leaders selected to participate in the Marshall Seminar. At times like these, it is comforting to know that our Army will have leaders like this joining its ranks.”
Lt. Col. Alan Mooneyham, professor of Military Science at SHSU and commander of the ROTC program said the Marshall Award is given to cadets based on a number of criteria.
“In order to receive the award the recipient must be the top MS-IV [Senior] ROTC cadet from the cadet battalion, must have completed the National Advanced Leadership Camp and have demonstrated those leadership and scholastic qualities that epitomize the career of General George C. Marshal,” Mooneyham said.
The cadet must also show that he can represent the U.S. Army and its values in a positive manner.
It was a hard decision to make according the Mooneyham. He said all of the senior cadets demonstrate above average qualities and values.
“I used objective criteria of grades and camp performance to determine the recipient,” Mooneyham said.
The award is named in honor of Gen. George C. Marshall, famed World War II military leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Gen Marshall was also known as a great warrior for peace.
Retired Lt. Gen. Charles W. Dyke and the Honorable John W. Knapp chaired this year’s seminar. Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, commanding general of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command and Maj. Gen. John T.D. Casey, commanding general of the U.S. Army Cadet Command also addressed the group.
The overall theme for this year’s event was the transformation of the International Security Environment and the role of the U.S. military.
In roundtable discussions led by internationally recognized experts the cadets explored the implications of recent world events in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and Israel. Methods of countering global terrorism and increasing Homeland Security were also addressed in detail.
Mooneyham said he is proud of Gillett and all of the other students involved in the SHSU ROTC program.
“I sincerely think of and care for all of my students as though they were family members,” Mooneyham said. “I’m very proud of them.”