Less than 1 percent of the American population volunteers to serve in the United States Army, and of that 1 percent, local APSU student and ROTC cadet Sean Hunt, stands out by gaining the status of being the number 11 cadet in the nation in 2012.
APSU’s ROTC holds a rigorous program for prospective cadets. Each year junior and senior cadets take tests designed to show their unique abilities. The scores are viewed by the Army Cadet Command Accessions Board, who determines the order of merit list.
Unlike the active Army, where soldiers personally choose which component of the Army they want to serve, in the ROTC the Order of Merit List determines whether a cadet goes into active Army, National Guard or Army Reserves.
If a cadet wants to get into the component they most favor, he or she has to score high on the OML.
The score is determined by overall GPA, performance during summer training, ROTC training exercises and other activities the cadets perform. This year, 5,592 cadets took the OML, and eight of the 17 APSU students who took the test received the status of Distinguished Military Graduate.
Along with Hunt, seven other cadets received high scores: Jermaine Adams, Charlie Batchelor, Nathan Brewer, David Bullard, Eryn Chauncey, Theodor Sierminski and Juan Vega.
“This percentage of DMGs (8 of 17, 47 percent) is almost two and a half times the national average of cadets per school getting DMG, which is 20 percent,” said battalion executive officer Greg Lane. Lane also said APSU has a high quality cadre, which makes for producing good quality officers.
“APSU is honored to have top quality cadets, which gives the cadre good material to work with,” Lane said. Of the eight cadets from APSU who scored high, only one was a woman. Cadet Eryn Chauncey said she does not feel that she stands out per se, but that she definitely feels like she has met and surpassed her goals.
“The Army is still known as a ‘man’s world,’” Chauncey said, “and there are still restrictions on what jobs and branches women can have, but that is even changing, which just proves that with hard work and determination women can compete with men and prove themselves just as capable.”