October 29, 2013

Army ROTC dedicates new training site to unit's founders

Cadets in the UAA Community & Technical College’s Army ROTC hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-September to celebrate their new physical-fitness training site.

Maj. Alex Elmore (left) and Master Sgt. Donald Ramey cut the
ribbon at the physical-fitness training site dedication ceremony.
The outdoor training site was dedicated in honor of Maj. Alex Elmore and Master Sgt. Donald Ramey who founded UAA’s Army ROTC program in 2009. The event was attended by UAA Chancellor Tom Case and CTC Dean Karen Schmitt.

“It’s a very special thing,” said Elmore of the ceremony. “The Army as an institution has been around so long. Not very many people get the opportunity to start something new. Don Ramey and I couldn’t have asked for anything better than UAA. Faculty and staff wanted to help from day one. I was extremely thankful to work here.”

The training site, situated in a wooded area behind the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, makes it possible for commanding officers to conduct outdoor drills on campus that weren’t possible to run before. The newly minted site features pull-up bars and hanging ropes for climbing exercises. The large wooden posts that support the site also help facilitate the one-rope bridge exercise. Cadets simulate crossing a river or stream by working together to anchor a zip line to the opposite bank and then rappel across to the other side.

“I’m very humbled,” said Ramey. “It was a challenge I didn’t think I would ever get in the Army – starting something from nothing. We had nowhere to hang our hat. We had to find the building and order the furniture. I’m proud the program has grown from nine cadets then to 33 cadets today.”

During the dedication ceremony, Ramey also took his enlistment oath, which is required by federal law for any military personnel who re-enlist. It must be administered by a commissioned officer. In this case, Elmore performed the honors.