Eight U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets have begun the first-ever U.S. Army Cultural Understanding and Language Proficiency Program in the Federated States of Micronesia. The Cadets will provide instruction to Upward Bound students in English, math, science, and physical training from June 26 to July 13 at the Pohnpei Islands Central School (PICS). The Cadets are under the command of U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael Feret, CULP Program Coordinator-FSM.
On Monday, June 25, Dr. Joseph Daisy, President of the College of Micronesia, Stephen Yarofalig, Student Services Specialist Counselor with the Upward Bound Program at COM-FSM, Maria Dison, Acting Director of COM-FSM Pohnpei Campus, and Lieutenant Colonel Feret signed a Memorandum of Understanding welcoming the eight ROTC Cadets to the Upward Bound Program on Pohnpei. The U.S. Department of Education’s Upward Bound is designed to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from institutions of postsecondary education.
Ranging in age from 18 to 24 the ROTC Cadets are currently working towards their bachelor degrees. The Cadets and university they are attending are: Melissa Fellrath - Columbus State University; Zhe Pan - Temple University; Samuel Watts - Minnesota State University; Andrew Munger - Wake Forest University; Daniel McRoy - Western Kentucky University; Maychee Zah - University of Georgia; Stephen Cherry - Stephen F. Austin University; and Jack Wood - Lewis University.
Prior to the Cadets’ departure from the U.S. they were required to research and brief each other on what they had learned about the FSM. U.S. Ambassador Prahar met the Cadets upon their arrival on Pohnpei and listened to a brief synopsis of their reports. The Ambassador complimented the Cadets on what they had already learned about the FSM’s economy, transportation, energy, history, religions, education, and health. He urged them to make the most of this opportunity to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the FSM.
The CULP Program is designed to prepare newly commissioned U.S. Army lieutenants to lead with confidence and competence in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment. It is part of the Army’s broader effort to evolve the officer corps toward multilingualism and increased appreciation and understanding of other cultures. Cadets are deployed in some 80 countries during the summer immersion program.
The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps was formed when President Woodrow Wilson signed the National Defense Act of 1916. Since its inception, Army ROTC has provided leadership and military training at schools and universities across the country and commissioned more than a half million officers. It is the largest commissioning source in the U.S. Armed Forces. Army ROTC is a diverse group of men and women with more than 20,000 Cadets currently enrolled. Women have been an integral part of Army ROTC since the first group of women was commissioned in 1976. Today, women constitute twenty percent of the Cadets.