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Dr. Robert Swansbrough
Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield presents
award to Dr. Robert Swansbrough

USACC presents DePuy award to Swansbrough

U.S. Army Cadet Command (USACC) presented the General William E. DePuy Award to Dr. Robert H. Swansbrough, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, at a Fort Monroe ceremony earlier this month.  Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield, USACC Commanding General, made the presentation to Swansbrough at a Town Hall meeting attended by members of the command headquarters.  Swansbrough’s wife, Mary, was also in attendance.

The DePuy Award is considered the most prestigious award given by Cadet Command, the parent organization of the Army ROTC program.  To date, it has only been conferred on one other individual; it was presented last year to USACC’s first commander, retired Maj. Gen. Robert E. Wagner during a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the command.  Wagner’s continued efforts on behalf of the Army ROTC program resulted in his selection to receive this honor.

The DePuy award was created in October 2005 and named after the first commander of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, who was also an Army ROTC graduate and strong supporter of the program.  It honors annually an individual who has provided significant support to the local or national Army ROTC program, demonstrated support during the past year and provided service or achievement resulting in tangible or intangible benefits to the Army ROTC program.  Those currently serving within the command, the largest source of commissioned officers for America’s Army, are not eligible to receive the award.

Swansbrough, a recognized expert on southern politics and author of several books on the subject, earned the award for his tireless efforts to return an Army ROTC unit to the UTC campus where he teaches Political Science.  He was selected from 11 other nominees from around the country.

Although an Army ROTC unit was present on campus for years, it became a casualty of defense budget cuts after the end of the cold war and a short-term drop in enrollment.  In a few months there will once again be a full-time Army ROTC presence on the campus, thanks in large part to Swansbrough.

After the Army had approved reinstatement of the unit, approvals were required from the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the UTC Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Senate, a majority of the full faculty and UTC Chancellor Roger Brown.  Swansbrough and the faculty committee he chaired successfully guided the proposal through the process.

Swansbrough recalled, “Many faculty members stood up and told how their ROTC experiences as undergraduates helped finance their college education, developed leadership skills and provided a supporting group of peers and instructors.”

In a few years, Swansbrough, a former Navy officer, should be able to see the results of his hard work on behalf of Army ROTC when the unit commissions its first officers.

An officer from the Army ROTC unit at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has been teaching Military Science and Leadership classes on the UTC campus in anticipation of the opening of the new UTC Army ROTC Battalion at the beginning of the fall semester of 2007.  Major Ben Smith may be reached at (423) 912-6388 or e-mail for information about the ROTC program and scholarship opportunities.

May 25, 2007