Texas State University's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Cadet Walter Brinker has been honored with the prestigious George C. Marshall Award.
The award was presented during the George C. Marshall Awards and Leadership Seminar March 30 at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
The event was attended by 303 cadets, out of which 15--including Brinker--were selected for top honors. Texas State has sent a representative to the conference each of the past three years, but this marks the first time a Texas State cadet has attained the highest selection category.
In the fall of each year, Texas State cadets are accessed for commissioning, active duty and career specialty. Students are rank ordered 1-5,500 across all Army ROTC programs nationwide. This year, Texas State accessed 18 students with six (33 percent) being selected in the top 20 percent in the nation and earning the honors of "Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG)." Of those DMGs, Lieutenant Colonel James Adams, chair of the military science program at Texas State, nominates one cadet for the award and conference attendance. Selection for the award is not an automatic bid to the conference and is centrally selected by U.S. Army Cadet Command. Previous Texas State selectees were Richard Mills in 2013 and Kyle Taylor in 2014.
Brinker is a senior Spanish major in the College of Liberal Arts. He is a second-generation soldier with two brothers also serving on active duty. He is a prior service veteran with multiple tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been selected as an Army aviator. His expected graduation date is May 2015.
The seminar featured a keynote address by General David Perkins, commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, as well as roundtable discussions on national security issues. Participants included cadets from the top ROTC programs in the nation, including Texas A&M University, The Citadel, Ivy League schools and--for the first time--the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.