Two events in early April will highlight the longstanding relationship between McDaniel College and the U.S. Army, the April 2 SmartTALK conversation with Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, who began his army career in McDaniel’s ROTC program, and the April 6 Green Terror Battalion 100th Anniversary Gala, which celebrates a century of ROTC at McDaniel.
Service members and the public are encouraged to attend both events, in part because not everyone is aware of this deep military connection at the college, according to McDaniel spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer.
“Part of this is to make the community aware of our history with the military here on campus and what we are doing currently with our ROTC program,” she said. “We just launched our military legacy scholarship this year, for children of military, current or retired. They are eligible to attend McDaniel and get $100,000 over four years. So we have been doing a lot to try and get the word out.”
ROTC was founded nationally in 1916 to commission second lieutenants in the army of cadets after completing four years of college. McDaniel’s program launched in 1919, according to Lt. Col. Lucas Yoho, professor of military science at McDaniel.
“We’ve probably produced well over 1,500 officers over the last 100 years, including retired Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther, probably our most senior officer and who is on the McDaniel Board of Trustees, and Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble,” Yoho said. “That’s pretty strong lineage here and we’ve had 12 general officers over the course of 100 years.”
One future officer to join those ranks will be Cadet Andy Murphy, a McDaniel junior majoring in history, a 2016 graduate of Liberty High School. Being a history major, the long history of the organization he has joined is not at all lost on him.
“The anniversary of WWI and the treaties signed and the battles fought have been memorialized recently,” Murphy said. “To have something from that era still present today, doing what it set out to do is just immense. I’m just very proud to be part of it.”
Murphy is particularly looking forward to the event with Gamble.
“It’s a amazing to have a general commissioned from McDaniel coming to speak to us,” he said. “Experience is just the most valuable thing to us cadets and future platoon leaders.”
And to leaders in other walks of life, Yoho noted. Gamble is the commander of the Army Sustainment Command, Yoho said, in charging of providing logistics support — fuel, food, maintenance, all that’s need to keep the army functioning — to commands all around the world.
“It’s a pretty significant role that he plays there in terms of sustaining the army and making sure we have everything we need to do what we need to do,” Yoho said. “He has been successful and will share some of those insights with us and the cadets. It’s really relevant not only to the military, but civilian leaders well.”
Gamble will appear on campus at 7 p.m. April 2 for an hour-long conversation with McDaniel President Roger Casey, a free event with no registration required.
The Green Terror Battalion anniversary gala is also open to the public, and will take place at 5 p.m. on April 6, in the McDaniel College Gill Center. Tickets are required for this event — which will include a performance by the U.S. Army Band — and are $50 per person. Send email to GTB100@mcdaniel.edu or call 410-857-2726 for tickets.
“We do this celebration every year as kind of a year-ending thing we do with the cadets to celebrate a year’s worth of training,” Yoho said. “But at 100 years we wanted to really bring back all our alumni that we can and really connect the military back to the Green Terror Battalion and back to McDaniel College.”
Guenther, for instance, will be giving a speech, something Cadet Murphy was proud to have a part in creating.
“I have had the opportunity to combine my studies with the program and the confluence to be able to help write and draft the outline for the history section for Lt. Gen. Otto Guenther’s speech, which will be given at the Gala,” he said. “It’s been an honor to work with this and see an actual product of my work relating to something that has been here for so long.”
And while Yoho and Knauer hope these events will help spread the word about a McDaniel military institution with such a long history, Yoho said he has no doubt the community surrounding the school supports the ROTC mission, whether they know it exists or not.
“The Carroll County community, the Westminster community, has been absolutely supportive of me personally. When I am in the store in my uniform and they come up and thank me for my service and engage with me,” he said. “That never goes unnoticed by military folks, we can definitely pick up on that. It’s absolutely an honor and makes my service basically worthwhile, because I know it’s appreciated.”