Opinion: A corps cadre member speaks out

I am cadre in one of the rook battalions at Norwich University. For the sake of protecting myself from possible reprimand or retaliation, I will not provide my name, rank, unit, or building. For the sake of maintaining a level of professionalism, I will also not give the names of recruits, cadre, or commandants in this statement.

As a cadre member, I arrived at school two weeks prior to Rook Orientation Week and underwent various trainings under the supervision of my Corps leadership as well as the commandants in order to ensure that my peers as well as myself, were proficient and knowledgeable in conducting the tasks required of cadre during Rookdom. This training consisted of your run-of-the-mill expected instruction: drill and ceremony, PRT’s, etc. Along with this training, we were also given numerous briefings regarding Title IX, legalities, professionalism, etc. Hiccups during training were minimal and were quickly addressed and the quality of leaders present, ready to fulfill the duties of cadre were impeccable based upon my own observations and based on what was said by the commandants overseeing our training as a whole. We started off the year firmly believing that things would run smoothly, aside from the usual initial issues with Rook training, and believing that the commandants had a level of faith in us and backed us entirely. We are only a few weeks into the academic year and this has proved to not be the case whatsoever. [Read more…]

Norwich’s legacy of innovation will be showcased in April symposium

Norwich University has long been at the forefront of innovation, beginning with its visionary founder, Captain Alden Partridge. Two hundred years ago this July, Partridge’s radical views on education cost him his post as superintendent of West Point. And yet, his prescient ideas about experiential learning, educating across the disciplines, and preparing youth to “discharge, in the best possible manner, the duties they owe to themselves, to their fellow-men, and to their country,” are more relevant today than they have ever been. [Read more…]

Cuts to student aid will hurt

Going to college to create a better future should be a dream available to all, not just to the few who can afford it. Yet the Trump administration seems to be taking the opposite view.

If on-campus Norwich University undergrad students received no aid of any kind, they would be paying approximately $54,474 ($52,776 off-campus) each year alone to attend college here, not including the costs of books and transportation, which can be a small fortune by itself.  According to the most recent update (2014-15) from the National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator tool, 27 percent of all Norwich University undergrad students received federal Pell Grant aid, and 62 percent received federal student loans. Last school year (2015-16), students received approximately $3.2 million in Pell Grant aid.

The Trump administration recently released its fiscal year 2018 budget request, which, per the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), included “significant cuts to certain federal student aid programs, and decreased the Pell Grant program surplus”. This budget proposal would affect student aid funding for the 2018-19 year. [Read more…]

A rebuttal on Recognition

“Was recognition earned, or given?”  The March 9 issue of the Norwich Guidon had a commentary with that headline, written anonymously by a member of the Corps of Cadets. Here is the reason why the opinions in the commentary are not  a legitimate argument. [Read more…]

22nd Annual Colby Symposium offers a look back at the legacy of World War I

  “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” –Aldous Huxley

One hundred years ago today, on April 6, 2017, the United States formally entered World War I. In the months leading up to that day, President Woodrow Wilson officially severed diplomatic ties with Germany, and our nation readied itself for war. Six weeks later, the first U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat.

The entrance of U.S. military forces into the four-year long global conflict helped turn the tide in favor of an Allied victory, but at a tremendous cost to American lives. When the Armistice was signed on Nov.11, 1918, of the more than two million U.S. soldiers who served on the battlefields of Western Europe, some 116,000 made the supreme sacrifice, 14 of them Norwich alumni. [Read more…]

Was Recognition earned, or simply given?

Editors note: This commentary was written by a member of the Corps of Cadets. Because of concerns about potential backlash and repercussions, the writer requested anonymity. The Guidon felt the opinions expressed were worth publicizing despite being anonymous and do reflect a segment of the Corps of Cadets.

Despite failing various tasks to become a cadet here at Norwich University, freshmen are still being passed on and recognized as cadets upon the completion of Rookdom. 

As a senior cadet at this private military institution, I have become accustomed to the traditions once held so highly in esteem here, and have held myself to the standard expected of me by the cadre I had my freshmen year. 

The oath taken upon arrival at this institution lays out the guidelines and standards that are expected to met and upheld from the time one enters the Corps. 

So, in saying that, students that choose the Corps of Cadets check a box saying that they understand what standards they are to meet to become a recognized cadet. 

Yet unfortunately, this does not happen. 

Every year, despite being told that they have to pass all training, go to all classes, and attend all morning formations, there are cadets who do not complete all of the established requirements but still earn the title and join the corps. 

Not all of the students that come here and check the box are failing the requirements to become a cadet, however. This makes it unfair to those who uphold the standard, while the rest are just passed on. 

[Read more…]

With heads held high, Norwich band, drill team did school proud

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States (1801–1809), and one of the influential framers of the Constitution, was the first U.S. president to be inaugurated at the Capitol in Washington D.C., a city he helped plan. In his first inaugural speech, delivered on March 4, 1801, he said the famous words that are paraphrased in the Norwich University mission statement: “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union …, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which … opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.”

I bring this up because I received some negative feedback not long ago in response to the news that our Regimental Band and Drill Team would be performing in President Donald Trump’s inaugural parade. Now mind you, the vast majority of the feedback we received was overwhelmingly supportive of our students, but there were some detractors who were upset that our students were participating at all, and others who were unhappy with the statement that our students were “representing Vermont.”

We live in a country where, thankfully, difference of opinion is tolerated. It is our right as American citizens to think as we choose—a right that many have fought and given their lives for. But it is important to remember that opinions are not the same thing as principles. Two sentences prior to the above quote, Jefferson says: “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” I believe he is alluding to our Constitution, which comprises several principles, among them, the sovereignty of the people, the limitations of government, the separation of power, checks and balances, and so on. It is these democratic principles which guarantee Americans their freedoms and unify us as a people, regardless of our differing opinions.

Whether our students were consciously aware of it or not, these unifying principles were front and center at their performance on Jan. 20, 2017. They marched not just for Norwich University, but also for our democracy, for our founder, Alden Partridge, and for all Norwich alumni since Alonzo Jackman, our first graduate. With heads held high, they marched absent of any political agenda, and with only pride for their regiment, their university, and their country.

As Norwich University’s president, I could not be prouder of our students for continuing this Norwich tradition—one that dates back to the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961. At least one member of the class of 1963 who marched in that parade recalls being starstruck as he caught sight of the young president—so much so that he stopped beating the bass drum. In true Norwich fashion, the other band members continued on in perfect step, not missing a beat, until the bass drum struck up again two measures later. Such opportunities as this bring honor and prestige to our university, and help to form the Norwich bonds and memories that last a lifetime.

It’s time to spice up student life at Norwich University

Assistant Editor Jasmine Bowman

When freshmen in the corps take on rookdom, they usually cannot leave campus unless they are a part of a sports team. That means from August to February, rooks cannot leave campus unless it’s family weekend, thanksgiving break, holiday break or some type of event.

That’s many consecutive days on campus which can probably get nerve-wracking.

However, it can also seem that way for civilians and/or upperclassmen in the corps. This is because many students lack transportation, parking is an ongoing problem, and it can feel like you are trapped here. [Read more…]

Thoughts on a perfect plan

Brian Gosselin

Brian Gosselin

If you had told me in 2006 that I would be graduating with a degree in communications in December of 2016, I would have immediately picked up the phone, called an ambulance and sent you to the mental ward. That is because 18-year-old Recruit Gosselin, resplendent in his freshly ironed BDUs and with a nice fat Air Force contract, had his life completely planned out. I was going to get my degree in mechanical engineering by 2010, be a pilot, and retire after 30 years.

It was the perfect plan.

But that’s not what happened. After realizing that I didn’t want to be an engineer, I switched to the communications department. That was good enough to keep me content for a while, but it just wasn’t for me. I loved my school, I loved my Rook buddies, but something didn’t feel right. I was starting to realize that having a perfectly planned life was boring. I had trapped myself in my own life, all by the age of 20.

So after my junior year, I left school and enlisted as a Cavalry scout in the Army. This came as a shock to my family, as I was the first of my family, including all my cousins, to drop out of school. But it was what I needed to do. [Read more…]

Take responsibility for your future

As we approach the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the long winter break, our students ought to be thinking about their futures—both immediate and long-term. The weeks away from the Hill afford underclassmen the opportunity to start lining up summer employment or internships, while seniors should be finalizing their post-Norwich plans.

The future is not something you should put off addressing. As young adults, the decisions you make now will impact your life for a long time to come. Set goals for yourself and work toward them diligently. Make a new year’s resolution to visit the Career and Internship center weekly when you return from break, and utilize the resources they provide. [Read more…]