Office of University Communications & Marketing

ROTC to Commemorate 60 Years of Commissioning at UNA
Oct. 20, 2010



FLORENCE, Ala. – The University of North Alabama will commemorate 60 years of commissioning 1,105 U.S. Army officers through the UNA Lion Battalion’s program during a Veterans Day celebration Nov. 11.

The all-day celebration will bring 1963 UNA alumnus, distinguished combat decorated Vietnam Veteran and guest speaker Robert Jackson to campus during the Veterans Day program at 11 a.m. at the Memorial Amphitheatre.

Jackson, a U.S. Army officer with the infantry branch from 1963 to 1976 and recipient of the Purple Heart, Silver Star and five Bronze Stars for leading troops through three combat tours in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam, was featured in Walter Cronkite’s 1970 Emmy Award-winning documentary “The World of Charlie Company.”

“Bob was a four-year football letterman at UNA and made a great impression on our campus,” said Carol Lyles, director of alumni relations. “He was a leader of men at Vietnam and was embedded with the troops in the 1970s.”

Dr. William G. Cale Jr., UNA president, and Cory Hamilton, UNA Student Government Association president, will also speak at the Veterans Day program. Rain location will be the Guillot University Center’s Performance Center.

Following the ceremony, a 60th anniversary luncheon honoring more than 70 current core ROTC cadets and Lion Battalion Alumni since the creation of the ROTC program in 1950 will take place at noon. Cadet Battalion Commander Joseph Thigpen, who was recognized as one of UNA’s promising alumni and is in the top 10 percent of more than 5,300 cadets in the nation, will speak at the event.

The luncheon is free but open only to current and returning cadets, their spouses or close friends. Cadets must register for the luncheon online at alumni.una.edu/ROTC or by calling 256-765-4201. The deadline for registration is Nov. 8. Seating is limited.

Current and returning cadets, students and the community will have the opportunity to watch “The World of Charlie Company” at 2 p.m. in the GUC Performance Center.

Army ROTC will host an open house for cadets and the public in the Wesleyan Hall Annex from 3 to 5 p.m. Lt. Col. Michael D. Snyder hopes retired officers and commissioned cadets will donate historical military items to put on display in the unit area or add to the UNA archives.

“This will be a time to stop and remember the sacrifice our veterans have made for us,” Snyder said. “Military service is a critical part of the character of our region, which is a cause that’s bigger than oneself.”

Parking for the Veterans Day events will be at Braly Municipal Stadium on N. Royal Avenue, where UNA shuttle buses will run from 10 a.m. until the events are over.

For more information about the Veterans Day events, contact Lyles at 256-765-4201 or alumni1@una.edu or Snyder at 256-765-4271 or msnyder1@una.edu.