ROTC shows off for recruitment week

A U.S. Army main battle tank, the M1A1 Abrams, rolled onto campus yesterday as part of an ROTC recruitment effort going on this week. “We’re trying to raise awareness before registration begins,” said Lt. Col. Lon Buck, ROTC enrollment officer. “It’s a very patriotic time, and we’re trying to show the scholarship opportunities we have to the student body.” The steel behemoth, amid an entourage of police escort, arrived on campus at about 8:30 a.m. from the National Guard Armory in Huntsville. Parked in the no parking zone between the Smith-Hutson Business Building and the Lee Drain Building, the tank was available for exploration by anyone curious enough to venture inside the belly of the steel beast.Answering questions about the 70-ton tank were Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Owen, Cadet Byron Harveson, Spc. Edward Williams and Spc. John Steinke, all from the National Guard. “I’d say we had about 100-150 people take a look inside,” said Williams. People would ask, “How fast can it go? Can anything kill it?’ And some questions on the specifications like how much fuel it holds and how far it can shoot.” Harveson, Williams and Steinke are not only tankers, but SHSU students as well. “It was neat showing people something they had never seen before,” said Steinke, “seeing their enthusiasm was gratifying.” As for the answers to the questions about the tank, Williams said the tank “goes 40-50 miles per hour,” can be killed “if shot in the right place,” holds “504.4 gallons,” and can shoot a target “two and half miles away.” Williams is also co-creator of the award-winning tank simulation, “Steel Beasts”, a computer game currently available for PC (for more info check out Students can check out a Humvee and an MK 19, a semi-automatic grenade launcher supplied by the Army Reserve unit in Huntsville today, said Buck. And on Nov. 28 a U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopter will be landing on campus as part of more recruitment efforts.

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