New Army ROTC chief implements changes, stresses leadership and training

The Army ROTC program’s new Professor of Military Science (PMS) arrived earlier this 2016 fall semester at Norwich University following a deployment to South Korea, with plans to refine the program’s mission of training and developing future leaders.

At Norwich University, students in the Corps of Cadets deal with a variety of responsibilities: The Corps, their ROTC branch if they are involved in one of the programs, and academics. Col. Jeremy Miller was for the first time exposed to this stress-filled lifestyle when he got to campus, and his reaction was unexpected.

“It surpassed my expectations.” Col. Miller said. In fact, it was one of the first times that his expectations had been surpassed upon arrival to a new duty station, he said. The students had impressed him, particularly how they dealt with juggling these different areas daily.

Yet, Col. Miller said that with every job, nothing is ever perfect. There is always room for improvement, and as the new PMS, Miller’s job is to facilitate that.

ROTC staff feel he’s doing that. “He’s doing a great job, he’s focused on the basics of having a fundamentally strong, high-performing, and high-quality program,” said Julie Craig, the recruiting operations officer for the Army ROTC program at Norwich.

According to Craig, Miller is getting back to the fundamentals of the program in order to move it forward. That means achieving better physical fitness scores on the tests administered by the program and doing well in the classroom environment. “Quality individuals,” as Craig put it simply, is the goal of the program.

Lt. Col. Ioannis Kiriazis, the executive Army ROTC officer at Norwich University, served with Col. Miller in South Korea and said that he and Miller’s leadership styles were “compatible,” formed during the two years the executive officer worked with Miller to produce quality outcomes in the field.

Kiriazis and Miller both agree that when an individual decides to join the program, the mission of the ROTC program is to take these individuals and mold them into leaders of tomorrow’s society.

“(Cadets) might pursue other routes to service, and that’s good,” Kiriazis said in terms of the cadets that may leave the program. For whatever reason, they leave, these cadets will still go on for the most part to serve their country, whether it be enlisted service, service to a three-letter agency, or in civilian leadership role like a business manager, Kiriazis said.

In the end, these cadets are ready to serve their country as leaders, and Miller wants to continue this trend. Miller said that the program needs to establish a standard that effectively judges the cadets willing to take the challenges set by the program.

Miller cited the indicators they were looking for in a potential leader in the Army program: “A cadet’s ability to serve and how well they will serve in the Army, their GPA, physical indicators, leadership abilities demonstrated at advanced camp, and field training exercise evaluations.”

The Army, Miller said, has given the program great “latitude” to refine the curriculum on campus. Refining the curriculum is Miller’s way of monitoring these indicators of a potential leader, meaning that the new PMS will re-work what is carried out during these trainings to better evaluate each individual cadet.

Some cadets are still unsure what to think of the new PMS. “It may be a little too fast with the (freshmen) cadets,” said Jason Jung, 21, a junior computer science major from Silver Spring, MD, and a member of the Army ROTC program.

Jung’s concern that Miller is moving too fast is reflected by concerns expressed by other Army cadets in the program, citing the confusion in the recent October FTX as an example of this fast pace (see page 1).

However, Miller has only been here for three months, and both Miller and Kiriazis said the culture and the way cadets hold themselves is changing for the positive. Miller said he eagerly anticipates a successful future here at the ROTC program.

Miller was attached to the G33 division with the 8th Army in his South Korea deployment, and Kiriazis, who worked for him then as his deputy, said he brings a steady command attitude.

“It was a consistent and daily experience,” Kiriazis said, continuing, “He is not one to just make rash decisions.” Miller, Kiriazis said, would ask questions while stationed in South Korea if he did not understand something. Miller’s division tracked huge multinational training operations as they took place across the entire South Korean peninsula, as well as “keeping up with real world reports of issues with North Korea.”

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